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Coronavirus Emergency Court Orders and Procedures
Multi-State Survey by Vaishnavi Arshanapally, Andrew Bassan, Elyse Giuffra, Chris Jefford, Kristyn Kaupas. Sheila King, Andy Marcus, Ed Mazzaferro, Sarabeth Rangiah, Wendy Stein Fulton, Michael Trumble, and David Walsh
December 14, 2020

Updated as of December 14, 2020

Below are the Coronavirus Emergency Court Orders and Procedures for the following states and jurisdictions:

  1. Connecticut
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Florida
  4. Maine
  5. Maryland
  6. Massachusetts
  7. New Hampshire
  8. New Jersey
  9. New York
  10. Pennsylvania
  11. Rhode Island
  12. Virginia
    • Connecticut (updated 12/14/20)

       

                  State Courts (civil):  No updates

       

                  U.S. District Court:  See link for General Order re: Jury Trials 12.3.20:  (please include link in update).  In sum all jury trials scheduled before Feb. 1, 2021 are continued pending further Order from the Court.  Jury trials may be scheduled post 2.1.21, with priority being given to short criminal trials involving detained defendants.  

       

      0752_001.pdf (uscourts.gov)  

       

      https://jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/CourthousesOpened.pdf?v4

      • Connecticut State Courts
        • Effective June 24, 2020, the court will begin to conduct remote, non-evidentiary hearings on the record in civil matters.  Please check your E-Services inbox regularly for scheduling notices.  DO NOT COME TO COURT ON THE DATE OF THE HEARING.  The hearing will be conducted remotely by videoconference from a virtual courtroom using the Microsoft Teams platform.  Please review the information on the Judicial Branch website at https://jud.ct.gov/remotejustice/for important information on how to prepare for the hearing and instructions on how to download the Teams app to your device.
        • Beginning with the June 29, 2020 short calendar, all arguable motions on civilIndical calendars that are marked ready will be scheduled for a remote hearing on the record at a later date. DO NOT COME TO COURT ON THE DATE OF THE SHORT CALENDAR.  You will receive a notice of the date and time that your matter is scheduled for hearing.
        • Effective Monday, June 29, the Judicial Branch is targeting the resumption of limited operations in four additional courthouse locations: the Judicial District courthouses in Danbury, Milford and Stamford, and at the Geographical Area No. 11 courthouse in Danielson.  
        • This expansion will bring the number of open courthouses to 17 – the Supreme and Appellate courts, 13 Superior Court locations and two juvenile court locations. As such, one Superior Court courthouse will be open in each of the 13 Judicial Districts.
        • The Judicial Branch is also planning to expand its hours and days of operations. The details of the Branch’s planning include the following goals: Starting the week of June 15, all open courthouse locations will be open each day, Monday through Friday. The hours for the public will be Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  · Starting the week of June 29, the Danbury, Milford, Stamford and Danielson courthouses will be open to the public. Consistent with all other open courthouse locations, public hours will be Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.   · Starting the week of July 6, open courthouse locations will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
        • Most work within the open court locations will continue to focus on those most pressing matters such as criminal arraignments for defendants held on bond, domestic violence cases, restraining orders, emergency child custody matters, juvenile detention hearings, and all other emergency matters.  
        • Effective May 18, the Judicial Branch will resume its daily schedule of civil pre-trials, trial management conferences, and status conferences. These events will be conducted remotely, either by video link or telephone. Participating lawyers will receive an e-mail with a link providing access to the event immediately prior. Those events that were scheduled to be held between March 23, 2020 and May 18, 2020, will be rescheduled in the near future  
        • Supreme Court open, in session and hearing matters remotely - https://jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/remoteoralconf.pdf
        • List of open Courthouses - https://jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/CourthousesOpened.pdf?v4
        • April 22, 2020: Governor Lamont Executive Order – Pursuant to Governor Ned Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7BB, effective immediately no person is permitted to enter a Judicial Branch courthouse or facility without covering his/her mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering.
        • April 17, 2020 Civil Short Calendar – Civil Short will be reinstated effective May 4, 2020 for non-arguable matters, but no short calendar court sessions will be held until the Judicial Branch resumes normal operations. For more information
        • Beginning on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, all courthouses will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice.
        • Only essential court business may be conducted (see below). Court hours of operation (for open courthouses):  9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Wed and Fri. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (staff leaves at 2 p.m.)
        • Stamford, Danbury, Litchfield, Rockville, Middletown and Milford – still closed
        • Courts attempting to expand the scope of our work to include matters other than “Priority 1” matters, including, but not limited to: completing and issuing decisions in cases that were previously argued or submitted and processing other matters on the papers filed rather than requiring parties to appear in Court. Beginning April 20, 2020, the following types of Civil matter will be processed remotely: Withdrawals, Satisfactions, Requests to Conform, Removal of Federal Court, Remand from Federal Court, and Acceptance of Offer of Compromise.
        • Jury trials are still suspended indefinitely
        • All civil trials, trial management conferences, pre-trials, status conferences, J-ADR mediations and short calendars, arguable and non-arguable, have been cancelled so long as Judicial Branch operations are limited to Priority 1 functions only.
        • All deadlines contained in Civil Scheduling Agreements and Case Management Orders are hereby suspended until such time as Judicial Branch operations are fully restored
        • New, Suspended or Amended Practice Book rules: Emergency Meeting of the Rules Committee of the Superior Court pursuant to Section 1-9B of the CT Practice Book
        • The following pertinent orders and rules are suspended for the duration of the public health emergency:
      • All time limitations concerning civil process, service and return provided in Chapter 896 of the General Statutes;
      • All statutes of limitations provided in Chapter 926 of the General Statutes;
      • All venue and filing requirements including, but not limited to, C.G.S.§§ 51-345, 51-348, 51-352 and 51-353, provided in Chapter 890 of the General Statutes
      • All criminal jury trials are suspended until further notice, with the exception of criminal jury trials necessitated by the filing and granting of speedy trial motions
      • immediate stay of all issued executions on evictions and ejectments through May 1, 2020
      • Only limited courts are open - listof open courthouses – and only to schedule and hear those matters identified as “Priority 1 Business Functions” until further notice
      • “Priority 1 Business Functions” include:
      • Criminal arraignments of defendants held in lieu of bond and all arraignments involving domestic violence cases;
      • Juvenile Detention hearings;
      • Family orders of relief from abuse;
      • Civil orders of relief from abuse
      • Civil protection orders
      • Ex parte motions
      • Orders of temporary custody (Juvenile Matters)
      • Orders to appear (Juvenile Matters)
      • Emergency ex parte order of temporary custody
      • Juvenile detention operations for detainees held for juvenile court
      • Termination of parental rights
      • Domestic violence victim notification
      • Civil and family capias mittimus execution and bond review
        • Update on closed courthouses: 25.20 – Danbury (cases transferred to Waterbury); 3.26.20 - Litchfield, Rockville and Danielson courts closed; 4.1.20 - Stamford, Ansonia-Milford and Middlesex courthouses closed until further notice.  Stamford and Ansonia-Milford cases transferred to Bridgeport.  Middletown cases transferred to New Britain. 
        • All Judicial Branch Law Libraries are closed until further notice.
        • Limits Courthouse Entry - entrance to courthouses that remain open limited to those individuals who are:
          • filing or have a hearing for a Temporary Restraining Order;
          • filing or have a hearing for a Civil Protection Order;
          • filing or have a hearing on an emergency Ex Parte motion for custody; or
          • are involved in a criminal arraignment or other criminal proceeding.
      • Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts
      • https://jud.ct.gov/supremecourt/
      • https://jud.ct.gov/appellatecourt/
      • The time requirements for all Supreme and Appellate Court filings are suspended until further notice
      • Supreme Court has postponed oral arguments in cases scheduled to have been heard between March 24-April 2, 2020. Matters to be heard at a future date and time to be determined
      • No oral arguments will be scheduled at the Appellate Court during the Court's

      seventh term (April 6-April 24, 2020).  If parties agree, fully briefed and ready

      cases may be submitted for disposition based on the briefs, appendices and

      record, without oral argument

      • Effective March 31, 2020 and until further notice, the daily hours of the Supreme and Appellate Courts will be 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
      • Supreme Court will begin hearing cases remotely Monday, April 27, 2020 and is expected to hear two cases per day Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the weeks of April 27th and May 4th.
      • Appellate Court will begin hearing cases remotely Monday, May 11, 2020 and is expected to hear three cases per day, Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the weeks of May May 11th, May 18th, and May 25th.
      • No cases will be heard on May 25th due to the holiday.
      • S. District Court for Connecticut

                        IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, effective December 14, 2020, and

      until further order of the Court, that:

                  1) This order supersedes paragraph 5 of the General Order dated June 12, 2020.

                  2) The following persons shall not enter any courthouse in the District of Connecticut:

      -        Persons who have, within the past 14 days, experienced fever or flu-like symptoms or the loss of the sense of taste or smell;

      -        Persons who have tested positive for COVID-19, unless at least 14 days have passed from the positive test or the experience of fever, flu-like symptoms, or the loss of the sense of taste or smell, whichever is later;

      -        Persons who have had close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, unless at least 14 days have passed from either the close contact with that other person or that other person's experience of fever, flu-like symptoms, or the loss of the sense of taste or smell, whichever is later.

       

                  For purposes of this order, "close contact" means closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes cumulative over a 24-hour period or any in-person interaction where a person is unmasked regardless of duration.

       

      SO ORDERED:

      Dated: December 14, 2020

      Bridgeport, CT

      Stefan R. Underhill

      Chief United States District Judge

       

      • Beginning June 16, 2020, individual judges will determine, after giving due consideration to the public health risks presented by in-court appearances, whether it is in the interests of justice to hold any non-jury civil or criminal proceeding in the courtroom. A judge presiding over a case may decide to hold a proceeding in the courtroom, to hold the proceeding over video or telephone, or to hold a hybrid proceeding in which the number of persons in the courtroom is limited while other persons participate or observe remotely via video or telephone. In all cases, judges will notify the parties through the CM/ECF system whether, and to what extent, a proceeding will be held in the courtroom. Jury trials will continue to be governed by this Courts General Order dated May 19, 2020.
      • For any in-court proceedings after June 15, 2020, all participants, unless the judge orders otherwise, and all persons attending the proceeding must wear masks at all times, as required by this Courts General Order dated May 19, 2020. Further, all participants and attendees must comply with social distancing measures implemented in the courtroom, including standing or sitting in designated areas 
      • All civil jury trials scheduled on or before Sept. 1, 2020 are are continued pending further notice from the Court.  
      • All civil and criminal jury trials (and related jury selections) scheduled to commence on or before September 1, 2020, before any district or magistrate judge in any courthouse in the District of Connecticut shall be continued pending further order of the Court.
      • All in court (in-person) civil and criminal proceedings scheduled to commence on or before June 15, 2020, before any district or magistrate judge in any courthouse in the District of Connecticut shall be CONTINUED pending further Order of the Court, with the exceptions and under the procedures noted in paragraph 2 and 3 below;
      • During this period, the District Court will handle, in court or by video conference, presentment of new arrests, detention hearings, grand jury returns and civil matters requiring a prompt hearing under Fed. R. Civ. P. 65; in addition, each district or magistrate judge may, in his or her discretion, choose to handle other matters in court (as opposed to continuing the matter or handling it via video or teleconference) whenever the judge considers it to be in the interests of justice to do so, after giving due consideration to the public health risks presented by in-court appearances; each judge will notify the parties through CM/ECF system whether a particular proceeding assigned to that judge and scheduled to occur on or before June 15, 2020, will take place as scheduled and, if so, whether the proceeding will occur in court or through remote communication (i.e., video or telephone conference);
      • The District of Connecticut courthouses (including the facilities at 157 Church Street, New Haven) remain open for business. Court staff not physically present at the courthouse are equipped to work remotely, and will work normal hours during each business day.  Staff in the Clerk’s office are available by telephone, mail will be received, and paper filings can be made at the entrance to each courthouse.  Electronic filings may still be made through CM/ECF system.  The public is encouraged to continue utilizing Court services while following all applicable public health guidelines. 
      • Each judge has discretion to handle matters in court, via video or teleconference if the judge deems it necessary to do so in the interest of justice. If a proceeding will take place, the parties will receive notice through CM/ECF as to whether the proceeding will go forward in person or remotely.
      • Clerk’s office will be open for business, but staff will work remotely as much as possible. The Clerk’s office will not be open to the public, but will “continue to provide efficient service…”
      • visitor restrictions at all courthouses - http://ctd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/general-ordes/20-5_%20%28EXT%29%20In%20Re%20Restriction%20on%20Visitors%20To%20Courthouses.pdf
      • There are no extensions for deadlines, and no tolling of the statute of limitations.
      • courtesy copies do not need to be provided to any judges chambers during such time as the court is operating under exigent circumstances created by COVID-1
      • Second Circuit Court of Appeals
      • http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/
      • Effective Monday, March 23, 2020 and until the COVID-19 crisis passes, the Court will hear all oral arguments using a teleconference platform. All lawyers and pro se litigants who are scheduled to argue must do so by teleconference.
      • Operations Continue at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit - The regular argued appeals and motions calendars continue to be heard as scheduled. As explained below, parties are expected to begin filing papers on April 6, 2020 pursuant to the Court’s March 16, 2020 order.
      • Oral Arguments at the Second Circuit - The regular argued appeals and motions calendars continue to be heard as scheduled. Effective Monday, March 23, 2020 and until the COVID-19 crisis passes, the Court will hear all oral arguments using a teleconference platform. All lawyers and pro se litigants who are scheduled to argue must do so by teleconference. The Clerk’s Office will forward teleconference instructions to the lawyers and pro se litigants appearing each argument day. In the alternative, parties may request to submit the appeal for determination. All oral arguments will be audio livestreamed. Click here for the livestream link.
      • Document Filings and Form Deadlines- On March 16, 2020 the Second Circuit ordered a 21-day extension of time for all filings and deadlines. Filing dates set specifically by order after March 13, 2020 and the filing date for a notice of appeal or other document that confers jurisdiction on the Court were not covered by the March 16th order.

        Applying the 21-day extension, filings and deadlines that were originally due between March 16 and May 17, 2020 are now due beginning April 6, 2020 and ending June 5, 2020. Absent an extraordinary circumstance, which is defined as “serious personal illness or death in counsel’s immediate family”, no additional extensions of time to file will be granted. Local Rule 27.1 (f)(1). Papers and deadlines that are due on May 18, 2020 and thereafter are due on the date specified in an order or rule. The Court does not anticipate issuing an order that further extends all filing dates and other deadlines.
      1. District of Columbia

                  District of Columbia (update as of December 3, 2020)

      D.C. Superior Court

      • https://www.dccourts.gov/sites/default/files/matters-docs/General%20Order%20pdf/Amended-Order-11-5-20_FINAL.PDF
      • Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, all deadlines and time limits in statutes (including statute of limitations), court rules, and standing and other orders issued by the Court that would otherwise expire during the period of emergency are suspended, tolled and extended during the period of emergency, with the following exceptions: (1) deadlines applicable to parties represented by counsel in pending cases, except deadlines for service of process; (2) discovery-related deadlines applicable to all parties, including parties not represented by counsel; (3) for motions filed on or after November 10, 2020, motions-related deadlines applicable to all parties, including parties not represented by counsel; and (4) deadlines in orders issued after March 18, 2020. Notwithstanding any other provision of this order, the time limits concerning the validity and issuance of writs of restitution in Rules 16(a)(4) and 16(c) of the Superior Court Rules of Procedure for the Landlord and Tenant Branch that would otherwise expire during the period of emergency are suspended, tolled and extended during the period of emergency.
      • In order to calculate deadlines refer to the August 27, 2020 Addendum:
        • August 27, 2020 Addendum: With the exceptions specified in the August 13 order, the deadlines suspended, tolled, and extended under the August 13 order include, but are not limited to, (1) statutes of limitations, (2) rule-based deadlines such as time limits for service of process, responding to discovery requests, and events leading to a pretrial conference, and (3) case-specific orders issued before March 18, 2020 such as scheduling orders and briefing orders. The new deadline will be determined by the date on which the period of tolling ends. If no exception in the August 13 order or in the Chief Judge’s prior orders applies, the date on which the period of tolling ends is currently November 9 under the August 13 order; if one of these exceptions applies, the date is earlier. The new deadline depends in part on whether the event that triggers the deadline occurred before or after March 18, when the tolling period began under the Chief Judge’s initial order. If an event before the start of the tolling period triggered a deadline that falls within the tolling period, the number of days remaining before the original deadline on March 18 are added to the end of the tolling period on November 9. For example, if the deadline for service of process, responding to a discovery request, or opposing a motion was one week after the tolling period began on March 18, the new deadline would be one week after the tolling period ends. If an event during the tolling period triggered a deadline, the clock would start running on the date the tolling period ends.
        • All hearings are being held remotely
        • The Civil Division will conduct remote hearings, including evidentiary hearings and bench trials, in any case where it is appropriate.
        • The Court is accepting electronic filings only including, pleadings, praecipes, motions, etc.;
        • The Probate Division will operate as follows:
          • Judges will hear the following matters remotely by WebEx:
            • 21-Day Emergency Guardians — Filed by email (attorneys and self represented filers) and by Telephone (self-represented filers only)
            • 90-Day Health-Care Guardians — Filed by email (attorneys and self represented filers) and by Telephone (self-represented filers only)
            • Petitions for General Proceedings (Guardianship and Conservatorship petitions) – Filed by email (attorneys and self-represented filers); and by mail (attorneys and self-represented filers)
            • Other Intervention matters which the individual judge determines are appropriate to be heard remotely by WebEx
            • Other Probate matters, including Estate cases, which the individual judge determines are appropriate to be heard remotely by WebEx
          • Face masks are required to enter the building.

      D.C. Court of Appeals

      • In any case where oral argument is scheduled, it will be heard via remote video conference. The court will email participants a link to the video conference.
      • THE DC COURT OF APPEALS HISTORIC COURTHOUSE BUILDING WILL CONTINUE TO BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC THROUGH JANUARY 31, 2021: Only judges and court staff will be allowed access. The court continues to take this temporary action in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency and out of concern for the health and safety of both the court community and the public. As set forth in the March 23, May 21, June 29, and August 27, 2020, orders, the court will continue to receive and consider all efiled documents and documents emailed or hand-delivered by pro se parties who do not have an efiling account (see details below). Additionally, a reduced number of court staff remain on site to process requests for files and records. These requests may be submitted by email to: fileroom@dcappeals.gov or phone to 202- 879-2701 and 202-879-2707.
        • E-filing is strongly encouraged. The court has suspended the requirement for the filing of paper copies of electronically filed documents.
        • Emergency filings intended for this court may still be submitted by email to: emergencyfilings@dcappeals.gov (for DC Superior Court matters
      • Motions requesting extensions of time with respect to filing deadlines for motions, briefs, and other similar filings will be liberally granted consistent with the equities of the case.
      • Face masks are required to enter the building.

      U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

      1. Florida

                  Florida (no new updates as of 12/14/20)

      • All State Courts
        • https://www.supremecourt.org/Emergency
        • In Supreme Court indefinitely extended the ability for notaries to swear witnesses using audio-visual means.
        • In a pilot program in July, the first jury trial took place in using teleconferencing technology and it appeared to work fairly well.  However, attorneys and judges in  are still not overly optimistic that jury trials will truly resume will truly resume in  before 2021.
        • Jury trials will remain suspended by 30 days from when Phase II is entered, which will be determined by each Chief Circuit Judge for their own district. Currently, Florida is spiking in COVID-19 cases, so there is no Phase II at this time as defined by the Administrative Order. The Chief Judges of Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach have not yet spoken to what Phase their circuit is currently experiencing, so we are in a bit of a limbo right now. Practically, I am finding that depending on the circuit, Judges are deciding whether to have in person or Zoom hearings. To date, no judge from my cases has opted for in person hearings, but I am aware that others have presided over in person hearings. 
        • All courthouses still have limited public access for essential functions, such as domestic violence injunction petitions.
        • All grand jury proceedings, jury selection proceedings, and criminal and civil jury trials are further suspended through July 2, 2020.
        • Notaries may be via video through Friday, April 17, 2020.
        • District Court of Appeal Oral Arguments suspended through April 7, 2020.
      • 17th Circuit: Broward County:
      • 11th Circuit: Miami-Dade County:
        • https://www.jud11.flcourts.org/Court-Announcements
        • All non-essential court activities are suspended (essential are only emergency guardian, Baker Act, and criminal matters). The suspension ends June 1, 2020. All deadlines within that time period (March 13, 2020 to June 1, 2020) have an added 38 days.
      • 15th Circuit: Palm Beach County:
        • https://www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/Home/Components/News/News/206/16
        • All non-essential court proceedings will be suspended beginning March 18, 2020 through the end of business on June 1, 2020, unless the presiding judicial officer determines that the matter may be effectively conducted remotely with all parties using communication equipment.
      • S. Southern District of
        • https://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/covid-19-updates
        • All jury trials are suspended until April 27, 2020. Individual judges may continue to hold hearings, conferences, and bench trials in the exercise of their discretion, consistent with this Order.
      • S. Middle District of
      • S. Northern District of
      1. Maine (as of 12/14/20)
      • Maine State Courts
        • https://www.courts.maine.gov/covid19.shtml
        • Courthouses remain open on a limited schedule, and there are restrictions on who may enter courthouses (e.g.: persons who have been exposed to COVID-19 are generally not permitted to enter). All visitors will be screened and must wear a mask or face covering.
        • Effectively immediately, scheduling of all case types and proceedings will be governed by the court’s COVID-19 Phased Management Plan. Which can be found here:

      https://www.courts.maine.gov/covid19/covid-management-plan.pdf

      • The Phased Management Plan contains 5 phases, which gradually allow for additional types of matters to be heard.
      • While jury trials are technically permitted under the Phased Management Plan, all jury trials have been postponed until 2021, with no date certain to resume. Until further notice, scheduling of jury trials will be limited to criminal cases.
      • All trial court proceedings must be conducted via telephone or videoconference, although exceptions can be made in certain extenuating circumstances.
      • The Supreme Judicial Court has issued guidelines for the conduct of remote hearings.
      • Social distancing measures will be implemented at courthouses, including a limit of 50 people (including court personnel) in any courtroom, as well as a requirement to wear a mask or other face covering.
      • Criminal defendants charged with certain class A, B, or C offenses may waive their initial appearance to avoid the need to appear in-person.
      • Oral arguments in front of the Supreme Judicial Court will now proceed via video conference or be addressed by the court based on parties’ briefs.
      • Until further notice, all depositions in civil cases shall be conducted remotely unless all involved persons agree to conduct the deposition in person. A party may move to quash a notice of deposition via remote means if there are “urgent and compelling circumstances,” but the desire of counsel for an in-person deposition is not sufficient grounds.
      • At any deposition conducted pursuant to Maine R. Civ. P., the “officer or other person” may administer the oath and take testimony remotely so long as they can see and hear the deponent clearly via audio-visual communication.
      • S. District Court District of Maine
        • https://www.med.uscourts.gov/covid-19-coronavirus
        • The clerk’s offices of the U.S. Court houses in Portland and Bangor are closed to in-person visits, except by appointment. A drop box has been provided for filings that are done in hand (rather than electronically). All courthouse visitors will be screened for COVID (via a series of questions) before being allowed entry and are required to wear a face covering.
        • The Court will continue to conduct hearings and conferences via videoconference or telephone.
        • All in-person hearings are continued until after March 31, 2021 and all jury trials are continued until after April, 2021.
        • In civil matters, counsel may request that the court schedule a conference, hearing or non-jury trial by video teleconference or, as to a conference or hearing, by telephone conference.
        • There are no generalized extensions or suspensions of deadlines. Any party wishing an extension should file a motion in accordance with applicable rules.

       

      • Maine State Courts
        • https://www.courts.maine.gov/covid19.shtml
        • Courthouses remain open on a limited schedule, and there are restrictions on who may enter courthouses (e.g.: persons who have been exposed to COVID-19 are generally not permitted to enter).
        • Effectively immediately and continuing through September 4, 2020, scheduling of all case types and proceedings will be governed by the court’s COVID-19 Phased Management Plan. Which can be found here:

      https://www.courts.maine.gov/covid19/covid-management-plan.pdf

      • The Phased Management Plan contains 5 phases, which gradually allow for additional types of matters to be heard.
      • Almost all trial court proceedings must be conducted via telephone or videoconference, with exceptions for certain matters, such as criminal hearings, abuse prevention orders, or juvenile adjudications. However, even these limited matters may proceed remotely and the court must make a determination regarding the advisability of conducting an in-person hearing.
      • The Supreme Judicial Court has issued guidelines for the conduct of remote hearings.
      • Social distancing measures will be implemented at courthouses, including a limit of 50 people (including court personnel) in any courtroom, as well as a requirement to wear a mask or other face covering.
      • All jury trials (criminal and civil) are postponed until after September 7, 2020. Parties who had previously scheduled trials will receive new trial notices.
      • Oral arguments in front of the Supreme Judicial Court will now proceed via video conference or be addressed by the court based on parties’ briefs.
      • Until further notice, all depositions in civil cases shall be conducted remotely unless all involved persons agree to conduct the deposition in person. A party may move to quash a notice of deposition via remote means if there are “urgent and compelling circumstances,” but the desire of counsel for an in-person deposition is not sufficient grounds.
      • At any deposition conducted pursuant to Maine R. Civ. P., the “officer or other person” may administer the oath and take testimony remotely so long as they can see and hear the deponent clearly via audio-visual communication.
      • The Maine Bar Exam has been postponed from July 28-29 to Sept. 30-Oct. 1
      • S. District Court District of Maine
        • https://www.med.uscourts.gov/covid-19-coronavirus
        • The U.S. Court houses in Portland and Bangor remain open for filing of documents, whether electronically or in paper. However, the clerk’s offices are only open by appointment. 
        • All in-court hearings and conferences scheduled to occur before May 1, 2020 are continued and will be rescheduled. All previously scheduled teleconference hearings or conferences will be held as scheduled.
        • There are no civil and criminal jury trials in May or June, 2020.
        • There are no generalized extensions or suspensions of deadlines. Any party wishing an extension should file a motion in accordance with applicable rules.
      1. Maryland (updated as of 12/10/20)

      Maryland State Court - Phase Reopening Plan Current Status: Phase II

      Maryland Federal CourtPhase I

      Phase Reopening Plan Current Stats: Phase III (as of 8/27/20)

       

      https://mdcourts.gov/coronavirusupdate

      USDC Maryland: Instructions for Remote Attendance athttps://www.mdd.uscourts.gov/remote-proceeding-access-information Hearings

       

      • Maryland State Courts—August 27, 2020
        • Reminder: August 31, 2020 is the beginning of Phase IV
        • Phase IV includes:
          • Non-jury trials
          • Contesting hearings in criminal, civil, family and juvenile cases.
          • Safety measures and social distancing may be required.
          • Local administrative judges may limit the number of people entering the court or courtroom.
        • Reminder: Court of Special Appeals: all oral arguments will be held remotely during September 2020.
        • Chief and Administrative Judge Sheila R. Tillerson, Prince George’s County Circuit Court: Video Message re: COVID19
      • Maryland Federal Courts—August 27, 2020

       

      • Maryland State Courts—August 20, 2020
        • We remain in Phase III until August 31, 2010
        • Court of Special Appeals: Panel assignments for argued cases wil be identified for each courtroom approximately 7—10 days in advance of argument for August and September.
          • Click here for information on Court of Special Appeals oral arguments in September (all will be remote)
        • Maryland Federal Courts—August 20, 2020
          • We remain in Phase II of the Federal Court Return Plan
          • August 19, 2020 Standing Order – a maximum of ten spectators may physically be present to observe any in court proceedings in this district, unless otherwise directed by the presiding judge. Each party may bring no more than 4 persons to watch the proceedings. 
            • No members of the public are permitted in the courtroom for jury trials
          • Maryland State Courts—August 13, 2020
            • We remain in Phase III until August 31, 2020
          • Maryland Federal Courts—August 13, 2020

            

      • Maryland State Courts—August 5, 2020
        • We remain in Phase III until August 31, 2020
        • See above for Phase III rules
        • August 1, 2020 Order Clarifying COVID-19 Health Measures
          • Face masks shall be worn at all times, including in court proceedings, covering mouth and nose completely, for anyone over the age of 2
            • Facemasks may be lowered to eat, drink, or take medication, but returned upon completion
            • For good cause shown, court may permit a participant to use disposable mask or face shield in lieu of mask so person can be heard
          • If someone arrives at a courthouse without a facemask, they will be provided a disposable face mask
          • Maintain social distancing of six feet
          • Failure to comply shall result in removal from the court house and disciplinary action as appropriate
          • Face shields are NOT a substitute for masks
        • Montgomery County Circuit Court August 3 New Face Mask Order
          • Face masks shall be worn at all times, including in court proceedings, covering mouth and nose completely, for anyone over the age of 2
            • Facemasks may be lowered to eat, drink, or take medication, but returned upon completion
            • For good cause shown, court may permit a participant to use disposable mask or face shield in lieu of mask so person can be heard
          • If someone arrives at a courthouse without a facemask, they will be provided a disposable face mask
          • Maintain social distancing of six feet
          • No more than 4 persons shall ride on court elevator at one time
          • Upon entrance to courthouse, persons will be required to answer screening questions and consent to non-contact thermometer check
          • All court filings shall be made by USPS or delivered to physical dropbox at Maryland Avenue entrance, or made pursuant to approved electronic filing method
        • Prince George’s Circuit Court Information
        • Baltimore City Circuit Court Information
        • Baltimore County Circuit Court Information

       

                  https://mdcourts.gov/coronavirusupdate

      • Maryland State Courts—July 31, 2020
        • We remain in Phase III until August 31, 2020
        • See above for Phase III rules
        • Clerk’s office is now open to the public
        • Montgomery County Circuit Court Information
        • Prince George’s Circuit Court Information
        • Baltimore City Circuit Court Information
        • Baltimore County Circuit Court Information
        • United States District Court for the District of Maryland—July 31, 2020 Update (SAME AS JULY 9)
        • Maryland State Courts—July 23, 2020
          • Additional Phase III Notes for Circuit Court cases
            • Resume handling temporary domestic violence protective, peace, and extreme risk protective order petitions during court hours.
            • Begin scheduling civil matters, including trials, for dockets that begin during Phase Four, including previously postponed matters.
            • Motions requiring witness testimony
            • Settlement hearings
            • Attorney disciplinary hearings
          • Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals: same rules as Phase II
          • Phase IV—begins on August 31, 2020
        • United States District Court for the District of Maryland—July 23, 2020 Update (SAME AS JULY 9)
          • July 6, 2020 Second Amended Standing Order Re: Face Masks
            • All persons seeking entry into any federal court in Maryland must wear a face covering that conceals nose and mouth at all times. Masks may only be removed during court proceedings if authorized by a judge. The Court will provide masks to those who fail to bring one.
          • Maryland State Courts—July 16, 2020 Update
            • Phase III starts on July 20, 2020.
            • Phase III includes:
              • Some non-jury trials in District Court and circuit courts.
              • Attorney disciplinary matters in Circuit Court.
              • Circuit Court Clerk’s offices will be open.
              • District Court clerk’s offices will be open.
              • Limited in-person services will be offered. Each local administrative judge will decide which services will be offered. Each court will post a list of services online and at the courthouse.
              • Clerks Offices in District Court and circuit courts will be open to the public.
              • Safety measures and social distancing may be required.
              • Staffing may be limited.
              • Local administrative judges may limit the number of people entering the court or courtroom.
            • Maryland State Courts—July 9, 2020 Update
              • Court of Appeals – Effective July 1, 2020, e-filing is now mandatory for all attorneys in all cases, even non-MDEC cases. Please see June 17, 2020 rules for further detail.
            • United States District Court for the District of Maryland—July 9, 2020 Update
              • July 6, 2020 Second Amended Standing Order Re: Face Masks
                • All persons seeking entry into any federal court in Maryland must wear a face covering that conceals nose and mouth at all times. Masks may only be removed during court proceedings if authorized by a judge. The Court will provide masks to those who fail to bring one.
              • Clerk’s intake offices remain closed—clerk’s offices remains open to the public via telephone and filings made by drop box.
      • Maryland State Courts—July 2, 2020 Update
        • Court of Special Appeals – started July 1, 2020, appellate e-filing is now mandatory for all attorneys.
          • All COSA oral arguments will take place remotely using Zoom.
          • All deadlines in existing cases remain in place
        • United States District Court for the District of Maryland—June 25, 2020 Update
        • Maryland State Courts – June 18 2020 Update
          • We are currently in Phase II (until July 20, 2020):
        • Circuit Court clerk’s offices will remain closed to the public.
        • District Court clerk’s offices will remain closed to the public.
        • Limited court activities will resume with safety measures and social distancing required.
        • Local administrative judges may limit the number of people entering the court or courtroom.
      • United States District Court for the District of Maryland—June 18, 2020 Update
        • June 17, 2020 Order re: entering Courthouse—Only litigations, counsel of record, investigators/employees of counsel, credentials press, jurors, and observers of in court proceedings may enter US Courthouse without permission from Chief Judge
        • June 17, 2020 Order re: Facemasks—all persons seeking entry into US Courthouse in Maryland must wear facemask or face covering, covering nose and mouth, at all times. Masks may only be removed during in court proceedings and only if authorized by judge.
          • Masks will be provided by Court if necessary
          • Those refusing to wear a mask or face covering will be forbidden from entering
      • Maryland State Courts—June 11, 2020 Update
        • Montgomery County Circuit Court – E-filing now permitted for items not requiring a filing fee. For civil cases, emails should be directed to:
        • Maryland Court of Appeals—June 11, 2020 Update
          • June 8, 2020 Announcement—For non-e-filers in appeals from non-MDEC jurisdictions, the Clerk is providing two alternative means of filing papers in the Court of Appeals: (1) e-filing through the MDEC system, or (2) drop box at the basement entrance of the Courts of Appeal building
        • Maryland Court of Special Appeals – June 11, 2020 Update
          • June 5, 2020 Announcement
            • All existing deadlines remain in place, COSA continues to receive filings on cases;
            • Paper records may be reviewed at COSA building by appointment only
            • Oral arguments for remainder of June will be remote.
          • Maryland State Courts—June 4 2020 Update
            • Beginning at 5 PM on Friday, June 5, the Courts will be implementing the reopening plan. The 28-page reopening plan can be accessed here.
            • June 3, 2020 Order Re: Return to Normal
            • June 5, 2020—progressive, five-phased return to full operations of the Court
              • Phase 1: the current state of emergency operations, per the May 4 2020 Order
              • Phase 2: courts expanding matters than be heard remotely and on site, beginning at 5:00 P.M. on June 5 2020
              • Phase 3: Courts may schedule broader range of matter, including non-jury trials in District Court, beginning on July 20, 2020
              • Phase 4: Resumption of non-jury trials, beginning on August 31, 2020
                • Courts authorized to conduct remote proceedings through end of Phase 4
                • Through phase 4 – courts authorized to limit number of people entering courthouse or courtroom
              • Phase 5: Return to full operations, beginning October 5, 2020
              • Throughout the 5-phase process, persons seeking entr into the courts are subject to COVID-19 screening questions and non-contact temperature checks, and required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing.
              • Regardless of phase, scheduling orders shall continue to be addressed on a motion basis
            • June 3, 2020 Order Re Trials
              • Criminal jury trials to resume October 5
              • Civil jury trials shall resume October 5
              • Previously-scheduled jury trials between October 5 and December 31, 2020 may be maintained subject to priority given to criminal trials and other urgent maters before the court;
              • All proceedings to be conducted with CDC safeguards, including social distancing, face masks, etc. – lawyers must wear masks, except when speaking.
            • June 3, 2020 Order re Deadlines and Tolling
              • Tolled or suspended by the number of days that the courts were closed means the time period of March 16—July 20, 2020.
              • See May 22, 2020 Order re: Statutes of Limitation
            • Montgomery County Circuit Court Order re: Safety Measures
              • All people over the age of ten must wear a face mask, scarf, or other covering
              • Face covering must be continuously worn by people while in the courthouse
              • Social distancing must be practiced while practicable
              • No person may ride an elevator containing other persons, unless all persons have face covering
              • Before ANY non-court employee is admitted to the building ,he or she will be required to answer screening questions related to COVID-19
              • Before any person is admitted to the courthouse, he or she shall consent to non-contact thermometer check; if > 100 degrees, he or she is barred entry
              • Public entrance limited to Monroe Street and Maryland Avenue
            • Montgomery County Circuit Court – Dropbox Links – see link
          • Maryland State Courts – May 28, 2020 Update
            • May 22, 2020 Order re Trials
              • All civil and criminal jury trials having been suspended, are authorized to resume starting on October 5, 2020;
              • Previously-scheduled jury trials between October 5 and December 31, 2020 may be maintained subject to priority given to criminal trials and other urgent maters before the court;
            • May 22, 2020 Order re: Statutes of Limitation
              • All statutes and rules deadlines to conduct pending judicial proceedings are tolled by the number of days that the courts are closed
              • “By the number of days that the courts are closed” shall mean the time period between March 16, 2020 and July 20, 2020, when the clerk’s office will reopen (i.e. 126 days) plus fifteen more days for initiation of matters:
                • For example, if two days remained for the filing of a new matter on March 15, 2020, then two days would have remained upon the reopening of the offices of the clerks of court to the public on July 20, 2020. With the additional fifteen days, seventeen days would be left for a timely filing, beginning July 20, 2020.
              • May 22, 2020: Reopening Plan
            • Maryland Federal Courts – May 28, 2020 Update
              • May 22, 2020 Order
                • Some civil jury trials may commence on or after July 1, 2020 (some criminal on or after August 1, 2020)
                • All other civil and criminal trials shall proceed as currently scheduled; parties that feel the existing scheduling order should be adjusted must submit proposal to judge
                • Standing Order 2020-07 extending all deadlines falling between March 16 and June 5, 2020 by 84 days, remains in effect
                • Existing deadlines falling after June 5, 2020, shall remain in effect
              • Maryland State Courts – May 21, 2020 Update
                • May 18, 2020 Order - All oral arguments previously scheduled for April 30, 2020, that were postponed by orders on March 17 and 31, 2020, and later April 28, 2020, are rescheduled for Thursday, May 28, 2020 by videoconference (except for Gregory Johnson v. Maryland Department of Health, 71a19, now scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, by video conference)
                  • See order (link above) for other specific cases that are to be heard in the September and October 2020 Session
                • United States District Court for the District of Maryland – May 14, 2020
                • Maryland State Courts – May 14, 2020 Update
                • Court of Special Appeals Update – May 14, 2020
                  • Court will continue to receive and process filings in all cases, and all deadlines in existing cases remain in place
                  • Oral arguments for May and June 2020 will take place remotely via Webex
                • Maryland State Courts – May 7, 2020 Update
                  • Court of Appeals Fourth amended Order re: Restricted Operations – May 4, 2020
                    • Courts remained closed with limited exceptions through June 5, 2020
                    • Essential personnel remain available to the public by phone from 8:30—4:30.
                    • All matters scheduled from March 16, 2020 through the end of the COVID pandemic are postponed, unless they can be heard remotely.
                    • Scheduling order motions will be considered on a case by case basis
                  • Court of Appeals Order re: Statutes of Limitations - May 4, 2020
                    • All statutory rules and deadlines relating to the initiation of matters shall be tolled or suspended as applicable by the number of days that the courts are closed due to COVID-19
                    • All statutes and rules deadlines to conduct judicial proceedings are tolled or suspended, as applicable, by the number of days that the courts are closed due to COVID-19
                    • Deadlines will be further extended by another, upcoming order from the Court of Appeals
                    • All such filings shall relate back to the day before the deadline expired.
                  • Baltimore City Circuit Court Town Hall Meeting Notes (via Ron Cherry)
                    • Staff have been tirelessly working to clean and sanitize the Mitchell and Cummings courthouses in Baltimore City;
                    • Once the courthouses reopen on June 8, extraordinary measures will be taken to make sure that all common areas are sanitized;
                    • Upon reopening, court will undergo “staggered opening to address social distancing concerns.” Attorneys may be required to wear masks.
                    • Filings:
                      • Virtual Filing Box is for discovery motions and responses
                      • Regular mail for complaints, answers, discovery
                      • Discovery deadlines must be adhered to as in the past
                    • The court will reschedule trials sua sponte – do not file motions to modify scheduling order.
                  • Court of Appeals Order – May 1, 2020
                    • The application of time standards shall be suspended for cases reaching a conclusion in circuit and district courts of Maryland between March 16 and December 31, 2020; will resume 1/1/21
                  • Court of Appeals Amended Order re: Remote Proceedings – May 1, 2020
                    • Further authorizing courts to conduct remote proceedings – supersedes March 20, 2020 order
                  • Maryland State Courts – April 30, 2020 Update
                    • Court of Appeals Order – April 28, 2020
                      • Oral arguments scheduled before the Court of Appeals for April 30, 2020, May 1, 2020, May 4, 2020, remain postponed until further notice
                      • Oral arguments before the Court of Appeals originally scheduled for Thursday, April 2, 2020 and Friday, April 3, 2020 (as per the March 17, 2020 order) are rescheduled for Monday May 11, 2020, Tuesday May 12, 2020, and Wednesday, May 13, 2020, and shall be held by video conference. –
                    • Court of Appeals Order – April 24, 2020
                      • All statutory rules and deadlines relating to the initiation of matters shall be tolled or suspended as applicable by the number of days that the courts are closed due to COVID-19
                      • All statutes and rules deadlines to hear pending matters are tolled or suspended, as applicable, by the number of days that the courts are closed due to COVID-19
                      • Deadlines will be further extended by another, upcoming order from the Court of Appeals
                    • Circuit Court for Montgomery County – April 30, 2020
                      • All persons entering the courthouse must wear a face mask, scarf, or other covering device covering nose and mouth
                      • All non-courthouse employees must consent to thermometer check; if over 100, you may be denied admission/removed
                    • Circuit Court for Montgomery County – April 29, 2020
                      • Counsel are permitted to file papers of any type bearing an electronic signature.
                    • Circuit Court for Baltimore City – April 27, 2020 Order
                      • Electronic signatures in compliance with Maryland Rule 20-107 are now permitted
                      • Electronic signatures shall include provider’s address, email address, telephone number, and CFP number
                    • Maryland State Courts – April 23, 2020 Update
                      • Circuit Court for Baltimore City April 22, 2020 Order
                        • Motions and discovery responses in civil cases shall be filed virtually at baltimorecitylockboxfilings@mdcourts.gov
                        • All such filings must still be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City notwithstanding electronic filing
                        • Every filing (motion or discovery) shall contain signer’s address, phone number, facsimile number, and email address
                        • All civil paper filings shall be addressed to 100 North Calvert Street, Room 462, Cummings Court House, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.
                      • Baltimore City District Court COVID-Protocols – April 20, 2020 Letter
                        • Only emergency papers may be filed, as defined in March 25, 2020 order. File at the locked drop box (available between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M., checked hourly) at each courthouse lobby and use electronic date stamp.
                      • Maryland State Courts – April 16, 2020 Update
                        • All courts closed from March 17, 2020 to June 5, 2020, with the exception of emergencies. April 14, 2020 Order.  This does not affect the Court’s ability to address matters without a proceeding.
                        • All matters scheduled to be heard beginning March 16, 2020 are postponed or suspended. April 14, 2020 Order
                        • Scheduling Orders in civil cases should be addressed by motions on case by case basis. April 14, 2020 Order
                      • Maryland State CourtsApril 10, 2020 Update
                        • The courts can and will still rule on matters that do not require a proceeding – for matters requiring a proceeding, the Court has authorized itself to conduct remote proceedings. April 8, 2020 Order I.
                        • All matters scheduled to be heard from March 16 onward are postponed or suspended. April 8, 2020 Order I.
                        • All statutes and rules deadlines to hear pending matters tolled or suspended as applicable, effective March 16, 2020. April 8, 2020 Order II
                        • From Bar association of Baltimore City – Request from Administrative Judge Waxman: In light of no MDEC for Baltimore City, please limit filings to emergency filings. April 9, 2020 Request
                      • Maryland State Courts – April 3, 2020 Orders
                        • All statutory and rules deadlines related to initiation of matters, including statutes of limitation, are tolled or suspended by the number of days that the courts are closed due to COVID-19. April 3, 2020 Order
                          • All statutes and rules deadlines to hear pending matters are tolled or suspended by the number of days that the courts are closed due to COVID-19. April 3, 2020 Order
                        • All jury trials and grand juries are suspended until further notice from the Court – April 3, 2020 Order I
                        • All courts are closed to the public through May 1, 2020, with limited exceptions. April 3, 2020 Order II
                          • Essential court personnel available by phone 8:30—4:30 April 3, 2020 Order II
                          • All matters to be conducted before the Court through the end of COVID-19 closure are suspended, unless otherwise notified (i.e. phone or video conferences/hearings) - April 3, 2020 Order II
                        • Still Applicable to the Extent Not Overridden by New Order
      • Registered users of MDEC may file in new and pending matters all papers through MDEC originating in Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County. March 27, 2020 Order;
      • All jury trials scheduled to be heard between March 17 and May 1, 2020, postponed. March 25, 2020 Order;
      • Scheduling orders in civil cases shall be addressed by motion on case by case basis. March 25, 2020 Order;
      • All Courts in the Maryland Judiciary are closed except for emergency operations from March 17 to April 3, 2020; March 25, 2020 Order;
      • Courts shall continue to process MDEC and/or other electronic filings. March 25, 2020 Order;
      • Per March 25, 2020 order, Courts are closed to the public through May 1, 2020. March 25, 2020 Order;
      • Courts are authorized to conduct remote proceedings until further notice. March 20, 2020 Order .
      • Maryland Court of Appeals – General Information
        • Same as Maryland State Courts, except as stated below
        • Oral Arguments in the Court of Appeals scheduled through May 1, 2020, has been postponed until further notice. March 31, 2020 Order.
        • Oral Arguments previously scheduled for April 2 or 3 are now scheduled for May 12 and 13, 2020, respectively, potentially by videoconferencing (Court will advise 10 days before of format). March 31, 2020 Order.
        • Two new means of filing – via MDEC e-filing and a drop box at the basement entrance of the Court of Appeals Building. https://mdcourts.gov/coappeals
      • S. District Court for Maryland – General Information
        • Update as of May 7, 2020
          • The April 10 standing order concerning discovery and proceedings/filing deadlines below still controls.
          • April 29, 2020 Order:
            • No members of public allowed in courthouse except litigants with scheduled proceed, counsel, credentialed press, and employees o fcounsel
            • Provides restrictions on who may enter courthouse: persons excluded include persons diagnosed with COVID-19 who had not been advised to discontinue isolation, people who have had contact with COVID-19 persons in last 14 days, persons asked to self-quarantine, and persons with apparent COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficult breathing, etc.)
          • Update as of April 16, 2020
            • The April 10, 2020 standing order (below) still controls.
            • Courtesy Copies: requirement to deliver courtesy copies is suspended.- March 27, 2020 Order
          • The terms of the April 24, 2020 order are now extended through June 5, 2020. April 10, 2020 Standing Order
            • All civil and criminal jury trials postponed through June 5, 2020.
            • All other proceedings in U.S. District Court of Maryland postponed through June 5, 2020, to be rescheduled at later date.
            • All filing deadlines between March 16, 2020 and June 5, 2020 now extended 84 days.
            • This order does not toll any statutes of limitations.
          • All civil and criminal jury selection and trials scheduled on or before April 24, 2020 have been cancelled and will be reset. March 20, 2020 Order;
          • All other trials, motions, hearings, or other appearance related events scheduled on or before April 24 are postponed. March 20, 2020 Order;
          • All filing deadlines that occur on or before April 24, 2020 are extended by 42 days. March 20, 2020 Order;
          • NO tolling of any statute of limitations, and electronic filing through CM/ECF remains available. March 20, 2020 Order
          • Court remains open for emergency criminal, civil, and bankruptcy matters concerning public safety, public health and welfare, and individual liberty. March 20, 2020 Order.
      1. Massachusetts

      Massachusetts (12/14/2020) 

      https://www.mass.gov/guides/court-system-response-to-covid-19

      • Massachusetts State Trial Courts including District Court and Superior Court
      • https://www.mass.gov/doc/sjc-fourth-updated-order-regarding-court-operations-under-the-exigent-circumstances-created-by/download
      • Courts are open to the public for limited purposes and those entering must have masks and will be subject to screening, including temperature check. While in the court house, face covering must be worn, and engage in physical distancing of 6 feet.  All persons are encouraged to use their own pens, and are encouraged to frequently wash hands or use hand sanitizer
      • Courts shall address emergency and non-emergency matters virtually and in-person proceedings shall be conducted only where emergency matters cannot be handled virtually.
      • Entry into the courthouse is limited to personnel who work in the courthouse and persons present for in-person court proceedings, those conducting in-person business with the clerk’s office, reporting for jury service, meeting with a probation officer and conducting business at other offices open to the public and housed in the courthouse.
      • Clerks Offices will physically reopen to the public to conduct court business. To continue to limit the number of persons entering courthouses, clerks', registers', and recorder’s offices will still endeavor to conduct business virtually to the extent possible.
      • No jury trials shall be conducted until on or after October 23, 2020 at which time jury trials shall resume in-person on a limited basis in accordance with Phase I (limited to trial to juries of 6 persons with alternates conducted in a small number of locations, with no more than 1 trial conducted at a time in each location).  Civil cases normally tried to a jury of 12 in the Superior Court and Housing Court, except sexually dangerous persons, shall be tried to juries of 6 and each party will be limited to 4 preemptory challenges, regardless of whether additional jurors are empaneled.  In civil cases in the District Court and BMC, each party will be limited to 2 preemptory challenges, regardless of whether additional jurors are empaneled. 
      • All jury trials scheduled to commence at any time from March 14, 2020 through September 4, 2020, were continued to a date no earlier than September 8, 2020, but due to COVID-19, all jury trials in all cases are further continued from September 5, 2020 until a date no earlier than the date of the commencement of the Phase II reopening plan.
      • Bench trials shall continue to be scheduled in criminal and civil cases and civil bench trials may be held virtually in the discretion of the trial judge.
      • Only criminal statutes of limitations continue to be tolled.
      • All orders in a case that were issued prior to March 17, 2020 after an adversarial hearing, that restrained or prohibited a party from taking some act or engaging in some conduct until a date at any time from March 17, 2020 through August 31, 2020 shall remain in effect until the matter is rescheduled and head on a date on or before October 13, 2020.
      • Attorneys and pro-se litigants may electronically sign documents and this e-signature will have the same force and effect as if original signature was affixed to paper copy of document.
      • Depositions may be conducted remotely without stipulation or court order https://www.mass.gov/supreme-judicial-court-rules/supreme-judicial-court-order-regarding-remote-depositions
      • Massachusetts Appeals Court and Mass SJC
      • S. District Court for Massachusetts

      https://www.mad.uscourts.gov/general/pdf/announce/GeneralOrder20-31-Coronavirus-OrderreIn-PersonNon-JuryProceedings.pdf

      1. New Hampshire

      New Hampshire (updated 12/14/2020)

      https://www.courts.state.nh.us/aoc/corona-covid-19.html

      • New Hampshire State Courts
      • https://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/orders/11-24-20-SUPERIOR-Twelfth-Renewed-and-Amended-Order-Suspending-In-Person-Court-Proceedings-Relating-to-Superior-Court.pdf
      • New Hampshire Superior Courts are under restricted access until December 21, 2020
      • All in-person proceedings in the Superior Court suspended through December 21, 2020 (except for some specific emergency matters); judges are encouraged to use available technologies including video conferencing and teleconferencing.
      • Due to increased risks associated with in-person proceedings following holidays, in-person hearings shall not be scheduled on the following dates: November 30, 2020 – December 3, 2020; December 28, 2020 – December 31, 2020; January 4, 2020 – January 7, 2020.
      • Jury trials commenced in August 2020 consistent with the Superior Court’s roll out plan as outlined in The State Court Jury Trial Plan https://www.courts.state.nh.us/aoc/State-Court-Jury-Trial-Plan.pdf
      • Bench trials will be conducted remotely.
      • Clerks’ offices are closed to the general public
      • All deadlines set forth in court rules, court orders, statutes, ordinances, administrative rules, administrative orders or otherwise are no longer extended and are in effect. Deadlines that were extended to May 4, 2020 remained due on May 4, 2020.
      • New Hampshire Supreme Court
        • https://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/orders/11-24-20-SUPREME-Twelfth-Renewed-and-Amended-Emergency-Order-Governing-Supreme-Court-Proceedings.pdf
        • Supreme Court will be open on a restricted basis and not open to the general public until December 21, 2020.
        • All in-person proceedings resumed after September 7, 2020
        • Due to increased risks associated with in-person proceedings following holidays, the Supreme Court proceedings that may be scheduled during the following times, will be held via teleconferencing: November 30, 2020 – December 3, 2020; December 28, 2020 – December 31, 2020; January 4, 2020 – January 7, 2020.
        • There are expanded methods for filing set forth in the Order
        • Given the expanded means for filing, deadlines will not be extended, suspended or tolled, but may be extended upon motion in accordance with the Supreme Court Rules.
      • S. District Court for New Hampshire
        • https://www.nhd.uscourts.gov/pdf/ADM%201%2020-28.pdf
        • https://www.nhd.uscourts.gov/pdf/ADM%201%2020-30.pdf
        • Pending further order, and unless a jury trial is requested by all parties, all jury trials are continued
        • Pending further order, all scheduled in-person mediations are continued
        • Any individual with symptoms associated with COVID-19 or anyone who refuses to wear is a mark is prohibited from entering the Federal Courthouse
        • The Federal Courthouse is closed to the public except on Tuesdays and Thursdays when Court conducts in-court hearings at presiding judge’s discretion.
        • Clerk’s office is closed to the public
        • All civil hearings and conferences scheduled to occur before October 1, 2020, the presiding judge has the discretion to continue any of those matters and/or reschedule those hearings to occur by teleconference, videoconference, or an in-court hearing at the Federal Courthouse.
      1. New Jersey

      New Jersey (updated 12/14/20):

      1. New York

                   New York (updated 12/14/20)

       

      Governor’s Executive Order 202.76 – dated November 20, 2020

      State of Emergency – Extended through December 19, 2020

      Statutes/statutes of limitations, orders, rules and regulations – with exceptions - compliance with which would prevent, hinder or delay actions necessary to cope with coronavirus disaster emergency stayed through December 19, 2020.

      https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/EO_202.76.pdf

       

      State Trial Courts – For all New York State Court Press Releases go to:  https://www.nycourts.gov/whatsnew/

       

      New York’s Multi-Phase Plan for “Gradual Return to In-Person Operations” as follows (subject to each court’s individual virtual model procedures) with each phase adding to the level of in-person operations established previously set forth below.   Overwhelming majority of proceedings remain virtual - and each county has established its own procedures.

       

      Phase 1

      • Judges and chambers staff returned to work; virtual proceedings from chambers began
      • Limited court personnel returned to work.

      Phase 2

      • Criminal, juvenile delinquency and mental hygiene law proceedings pertaining to a hospitalized adult held virtually by assigned judge
      • Non-essential matters mediations/ADR conducted virtually by assigned judge

      Phase 3

      • Expanded in-person operations to include child support proceedings and certain criminal proceedings

      Phase 4

      • Expanded in-person hearings including child permanency hearings, civil court appearances in which at least one party is unrepresented, small claims matters filed prior to 4/1/2020, and grand jury proceedings as of 7/13/2020
      • Virtual proceedings continue in: non-essential matters; mediations/ADR; juvenile delinquency proceedings; adoptions; eviction matters in which all parties represented by counsel; criminal matters except those expended to in-person in Phase 3;
      • where an in-person proceeding involves an incarcerated individual, that individual will appear virtually, unless otherwise ordered by the assigned judge
      1. Pennsylvania

      Pennsylvania State Courts

      1. Per the May 27, 2020 Order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the general, statewide judicial emergency declared and maintained via this Court's Orders of March 16, March 18, March 24, April 1, and April 28, 2020, SHALL CEASE as of June 1, 2020. The previous Orders in this line SHALL EXPIRE according to their own terms.
      2. Local/county administrative orders and local emergencies REMAIN IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT, and President Judges in those judicial districts may continue to exercise emergency powers. Extant administrative orders issued by the intermediate courts and local emergency orders and directives, including any provisions of these affecting time calculations or deadlines, SHALL REMAIN IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT until they expire or are rescinded by this Court, by an intermediate court, or locally.
      3. Directives and Exceptions for All County Courts of Common Pleas & Magisterial District Courts:
        1. Deadlines/Filing
        2. The statewide suspension of time calculations and deadlines provided for in the courts previous orders ceased May 11, 2020. In all events, legal papers or pleadings (other than commencement of actions where statutes of limitations may be in issue) which are required to be filed between March 19, 2020, and May 8, 2020, generally shall be deemed to have been filed timely if they are filed by close of business on May 11, 2020
      • Existing local/county emergency orders and directives, including any provisions of these affecting time calculations or deadlines, shall remain in full force and effect until they expire or are rescinded locally. However, any declaration extending a local emergency beyond June 1, 2020, should provide supporting reasoning. 
      1. Under any administrative order issued by an intermediate court or local emergency declaration, a President Judge IS SPECIFICALLY EMPOWERED, subject to state and federal constitutional requirements, to do any or all of the following:
        1. Limit in-person access and proceedings in order to safeguard the health and safety of court personnel, court users, and members of the public;
        2. Suspend statewide rules that restrict, directly or indirectly, the use of advanced communication technologies;
        3. Suspend statewide rules that impede local provision for court filings by means other than in-person delivery;
        4. Suspend statewide rules pertaining to the rule-based right of criminal defendants to a prompt trial; and
        5. (5) Suspend jury trials until such time that they can be conducted consistent with prevailing health and safety norms.
      2. Guidance to Legal Professionals in Pennsylvania:
        1. As regions of the state reopen, and as courts resume the full range of court business, the need for legal professionals to gain greater physical access to their offices naturally increases as well. Pennsylvania attorneys have an obligation under our Rules of Professional Conduct to promptly, competently, and diligently represent their clients. To that end, attorneys and staff must be able to, and therefore may, access their physical offices at least to the extent the attorneys reasonably believe doing so is necessary to satisfy their professional obligations, provided they take appropriate measures to protect the safety of their employees and the public.
        2. The Court notes that the executive branch has issued guidance concerning business operations in what it has designated the "Yellow Phase" and the "Green Phase." The executive direction for operations in the Yellow Phase is presently that "all businesses, except [for categories not relevant here], are permitted to conduct in-person operations, so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of this guidance." The "Policy" section of the executive guidance further provides:
          1. All businesses, even those that are, authorized to maintain in-person operations, must strive to minimize opportunities for personal interaction because such interactions provide greater opportunities for the transmission of COVID-19. Businesses must employ remote or virtual methods of doing business whenever and wherever possible.
          2. Businesses that must conduct in-person operations and activities, because their employees cannot telework, must adhere strictly to this guidance. In addition, businesses that maintain in-person operations must make their employees and customers aware of the efforts and commitment to protecting their health and safety.
      • As to what the executive branch has designated the "Green Phase," the guidance provides that "all businesses (including those restricted or prohibited in the Yellow Phase) are authorized to conduct in-person operations as long as the businesses follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines and other orders or guidance that may be required at that time."
      1. At present, the Court finds the executive branch guidance to be consistent with the level and manner of physical office access that the Court has deemed necessary for attorneys to promptly, competently, and diligently represent their clients.
      1. Pennsylvania Supreme Court
        1. http://www.pacourts.us/ujs-coronavirus-information
        2. There will be no public access to the Eastern District, Middle District, and Western District Supreme Court Filing Offices through April 30, 2020.
      • Due dates for any filings in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from March 16, 2020 through April 30, 2020 are extended, and those filings will be considered timely if filed on or before May 1, 2020.

       

      1. Pennsylvania Superior Court
        1. http://www.pacourts.us/courts/superior-court/
        2. Filings via PACFile or U.S. Mail.
      • March 23, 2020 Order:
        1. Superior Court’s Miscellaneous Docket is open for filing praecipes for writs of summons that potential litigants are unable to file in appropriate court of common pleas in any of the districts in the Commonwealth.
        2. Superior Court’s Miscellaneous Docket is open ONLY to such praecipes involving claims that are subject to expirations of the SOL.
        3. Any such Praecipe shall be filed in the appropriate Superior Court District Office: Eastern, Middle, or Western.
      1. May 28, 2020 Order:
        1. Superior Court will continue to accept filings through PACFile e-filing, through US Postal Service, or by commercial delivery carried, and will remain open to conduct all court business.
        2. In light of expiration of statewide judicial emergency, due dates for filings are restored to the date specified on this Court’s Docket, e.g., filing due dates for briefs or docketing statements and responses to show cause orders.
        3. Pursuant to the Supreme Court's Emergency Order of Statewide Judicial Administration Applicable from May 1 through June 1, 2020, dated April 28, 2020, the Superior Court will continue to utilize advanced communication technologies for argument court sessions, for those cases which cannot be submitted on legal briefs.
        4. All emergency motions shall be filed through the PACFile electronic filing system, and must be clearly titled as an Emergency Motion. To the extent a party is unable to file an emergency motion on PACFile, they are encouraged to call the respective district's Prothonotary's Office, which phone numbers may be found at: http://www.oacourts.us/courts/superior-court/prothonotarys-addresses.
          1. Parties are on notice that emergency motions may take longer than usual to address.
        5. This Court's March 23, 2020, and March 26, 2020 Orders in regard to filing Praecipes for Writ of Summons or Children's Fast Track appeals on this Court's Miscellaneous Docket, due to difficulties in filing with the court of common pleas, remain in full force and effect with the following, additional provision: the petitioner or appellant shall attach to the relevant certification documentation indicating efforts made to file the praecipe or Children's Fast Track notice of appeal with the court of common pleas.
      2. No new Order since July 13, 2020 Orders addressing Panels A19-20; Panel A22-20; and Panel A20-20.
      1. Pennsylvania County Courts of Common Pleas
      1. Bucks County Court of Common Pleas (7th Judicial District)
        1. http://www.buckscounty.org/Courts/CommonPleas
        2. Common Pleas Court has resumed normal operations and hours.
        3. Courts and Court departments may elect to conduct proceedings via advanced communications technology.
        4. May 13, 2020 OrderThe following become effective June 1, 2020, when previous orders expire:
          1. Bucks County Court of Common Pleas, Bucks County Justice Center and all court offices located in justice center, and all Magisterial District Court office will be open during normal business hours to conduct business as outlined in April 28, 2020 Supreme Court Order.
          2. Court of Common Pleas filing offices shall be open to conduct all business during normal business hours.
          3. Access modified according to entry protocol (review protocol on County’s website).
          4. All individuals must wear masks, maintain appropriate social distancing, and comply with all safety directives issued by court.
        5. July 24, 2020 Order: Judicial emergency extended for the following limited purposes:
          1. Emergency Order No. 2020-16, "Use of Advanced Communication Technology and suspension of Rule-Based Right of Criminal Defendants to a Prompt Trial," is amended to state that unless extended by further order of court, the said order shall expire on September 28, 2020, with all other provisions of the said orders remaining as entered.
          2. Emergency Order No. 2020-17, "Suspension of Grand Jury Proceedings," is amended to state that unless extended by further order of court, the said order shall expire on September 28, 2020, with all other provisions of the said orders remaining as entered.
          3. No criminal jury trials will be held prior to September 28, 2020.
          4. No trial requiring a jury of 12, whether in a criminal or civil matter, will be held prior to September 28, 2020.
        6. September 21, 2020 Order:
          1. Judicial emergency extended for the following limited purposes:
          2. Emergency Order No. 2020-16, "Use of Advanced Communication Technology and suspension of Rule-Based Right of Criminal Defendants to a Prompt Trial," is amended to state that unless extended by further order of court, the said order shall expire on December 31, 2020, with all other provisions of the said order remaining as entered.
          3. Emergency Order No. 2020-17, "Suspension of Grand Jury Proceedings," is amended to state that unless extended by further order of court, the said order shall expire on December 31, 2020, with all other provisions of the said order remaining as entered.
        7. 5, 2020 Order - Judicial emergency is extended for the following limited purposes:
          1. No civil trials requiring a jury of 12 will be heard prior to January 1, 2021.
          2. No civil jury trials will be heard between November 30, 2020, and January 1, 2021
      1. Chester County Court of Common Pleas (15th Judicial District)
        1. https://www.chesco.org/1333/County-Court-of-Common-Pleas
        2. April 2 - Chester County - Order RE Access and Functions - Extending Through April 30
        3. April 17 - Chester County - Order Extending Closures through May 31
        4. May 4 - Chester County - Order RE Limited Opening of Court
        5. May 13 - Chester County - Order RE Court Reopening on June 2
        6. Beginning June 2, 2020, all functions of the common pleas and magisterial district courts shall be fully restored except those which are, or might be in the future, specifically proscribed by order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court or Governor. Common Pleas and magisterial district judges shall maintain their own cases and schedules, using their best discretion to address the backlog of cases accumulating since the courts were generally closed on March 19, 2020.
        7. All civil jury trials are cancelled and suspended through July 2020, and shall be rescheduled for a future date. Chester County is fully operational, and planning jury trials starting AUGUST 3RD.  Date certain trials are going first; non-jury second; then the trial pool list cases.  Check the trial list for your assigned judge for trial dates.  When the Supreme Court indicates that jury trials will again be permitted, the common pleas judges assigned jury trial cases and the pertinent members of the court administration office shall confer regarding the best manner and places to assemble jurors and conduct jury trials. Thereafter, those judges and court administration staff shall determine the appropriate number of jurors to be summoned each week and coordinate which judges shall conduct jury trials, with priority given to criminal trials over civil trials.
        8. Unless otherwise required, or the assigned judge determines that such matters may be conducted through the use of advanced communication technology, any hearings or other in-person appearances, including but not limited to pretrial conferences, case management conferences, status conferences, diversionary programs, discovery motions practice, motions practice or other hearings, whether civil or criminal, are postponed through May 31, 2020. In accordance with the assigned judges' authority, the assigned judge may handle any non­essential matter he or she deems appropriate, provided judicial personnel, attorneys and other individuals can and do act in conformity with orders issued by the Governor, and that persons, not otherwise permitted to enter the Chester County Justice Center, participate in such matters remotely by advanced communication technology.
        9. Each Magisterial District judge may handle any non-essential matter he or she deems appropriate, provided judicial personnel, attorneys and other individuals can and do act in conformity with orders issued by the Governor, and that persons, not otherwise permitted to enter the magisterial district court, participate in such matters remotely by advanced communication technology.
        10. The Prothonotary’s office is closed, but there is no indication that electronic filings are affected.
      • Delaware County Court of Common Pleas (32nd Judicial District)
        1. https://www.delcopa.gov/courts/index.html
        2. October 20, 2020 Order
          1. Issued revised scheduling protocols and civil section cancellations which will be effective date of the Order through January 31, 2021.
          2. See Order for detailed procedures/protocols. The following is a brief summary:
            1. ALL civil jury trials remain suspended until further notice.
            2. Effective July 13, 2020, in person arbitration panel hearings resumed.
              1. For good cause, any party wanting to appear via ACT must notify 7 business days prior to scheduled date.
              2. Any continuance application must be made timely known to court administrator’s arbitration staff.
      • For all in person proceedings, no one other than the parties, witnesses, and/or counsel will be permitted.
      1. Any litigant, attorney, witness, or interested party wanting to appear via ACT must notify the presiding judge no less than 3 business day prior to the scheduled date.
      2. Civil Section:
      3. 4 judge civil section has been temporarily structured into 2 subgroups: Judges Dozor and Whelan; and Judges Angelos and Eckel. BOTH judges of each team during a given week will generally have for their respective use courtrooms available with the second team of judges sitting the next week. Hence, on any day of a week no more than two (2) civil judges will be simultaneously in session, unless there is some emergent need for another such courtroom to then be operational sanctioned by the president judge or civil liaison.
      • On those alternating weeks they will be sitting, Judge Dozor will utilize courtroom No. seven (7) while Judge Whelan will be in courtroom No. eight (8). For those every other weeks they are listed to sit, Judge Angelos will use courtroom No. seven (7) and Judge Eckel courtroom No. eight (8).
      • Check Order for civil section master calendar detailing October 2020 through January 2021 the specific two (2), civil judges sitting weekly.
      1. Various hearings as the assigned civil judge believes appropriate will once more be scheduled, including but not limited to arguments, contested pre-trial evidentiary hearings and/or non-jury trials. ALL these listings for now will be just those cases reasonably expected to conclude within at most a few days. Such schedulings, including but not limited to contested evidentiary matters, may be conducted as the designated judge believes proper through some manner of ACT, in-person and/or such a combination.
      2. Civil miscellaneous lists will proceed per civil master calendar on the following dates: Oct. 20, 2020; Nov. 10, 2020; Nov. 24, 2020; Dec. 8, 2020; Dec. 15, 2020; Jan. 12, 2021; and Jan. 19, 2021.
      1. Assigned and/or otherwise presiding civil judge may scheduled as believed appropriate pre-trial case management conference.
      1. October 27, 2020 Order
        1. October 20, 2020 Order is amended to include all referenced attachments:
          1. Civil Section Emergency Cancellations as well as revised scheduling and operational protocols, extended and amended
          2. COVID-19 Screening Guidelines
      • Civil Calendar 2020
      1. DE County Local Rule 205.4
      1. November 12, 2020 Order
        1. Court of Delaware County remain operations per Emergency Revised Scheduling and Operations Protocols.
        2. For now, only counsel, parties, and witnesses are permitted access to Court and should report 30 min before scheduled time.
        3. Check protocols on Court’s website for more specifics.
      1. Elk County Court of Common Pleas (59th Judicial District)
        1. http://www.co.elk.pa.us/index.php/government/court-information
        2. April 3 - Elk County - Order Extending through April 30
        3. April 30 - Elk County - Order Extending through June 1, Courts Open
        4. May 27 - Elk County - Jury Trials
        5. June 1 – Elk County – Administrative Order – Extending through August 28
        6. August 28 – Elk County – Administrative Order – Extending through December 31
        7. Elk County remains in a state of judicial emergency through December 31, 2020.
        8. All court facilities shall be open to conduct all court business, subject to the conditions below.
        9. Civil jury selections scheduled for Monday, June 8, 2020, in Elk County are cancelled. This Court is likewise awaiting direction on or before June 1, 2020 from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as to the status of jury trials in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania no longer being suspended statewide due to the novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation.  Presently, the next scheduled jury selection shall occur in Elk County on Monday, August 10, 2020, provided jury trials are no longer suspended statewide in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and provided also locally jury selection and jury trials may be conducted in a safe and healthy manner for all parties involved including prospective jurors and jurors given the current state of the novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation in Elk County and throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, this Court along with local court leaders continue to assess all options for resuming jury selection and jury trials in Elk County as soon as possible in consideration of the health and safety of prospective jurors, court users, attorneys and court staff given the risks presented by and the uncertainty associated with the novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation
        10. The manner in which court proceedings, which includes meetings, conference, hearings, arguments and any other proceeding before the Court of Common Pleas and Magisterial District Courts, to be conducted beginning May 4, 2020 shall be as follows:
          1. Advanced communication technology participation shall be the primary and preferred method of conducting court proceedings, to the extent possible. See Elk County's Zoom Meeting Protocol; Elk County's Lifesize Meeting Protocol; Elk County's Instructions to Counsel for Virtual Meetings
          2. In-person participation shall be the secondary method of conducting court proceedings. In-person presence at a court facility on or after May 4, 2020 should be minimized and should be a last resort or option for a person unless such in-person presence is absolutely essential and critical after considering all alternative methods of conducting personal business at a court facility
        11. For any of the filing methods listed below, attorneys and any party filing legal documents must confirm in advance by telephone call with the filing office the necessary filing fee that must accompany any filing with the filing office:
          1. The primary method of filing legal documents in non-essential judicial functions and/or proceedings that are presently pending or that are initiated between March 20, 2020 and June 1, 2020 is to be done by United States Postal Service to the filing office mailing address.
          2. Secondary method of legal documents to be filed may occur by way of limited access to an established drop box area for each filing office immediately inside the respective courthouses and magisterial district judge offices. This manner of filing is available only during normal business hours for the courthouse and filing office.
          3. Direct in-person filing between through April 30, 2020 should be limited to extreme, exceptional and extraordinary circumstances. Direct in-person filing in a filing office may be permitted provided the elected official of the filing office provides prior approval by telephone to such person for direct in-person filing to occur. This manner of filing is available only during normal business hours for the courthouse and filing office.
        12. While Elk County does not offer e-filing, online civil docket search is now available.
      1. Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas (45th Judicial District)
        1. https://www.lackawannacounty.org/index.php/departmentsagencies/courts-and-judiciary/court-of-common-pleas
        2. April 1 - Lackawanna County - Extending Order Through April 30
        3. April 20 - Lackawanna County - Order Extending Closures through May 31
        4. June 25 – Lackawanna County – Order Extending Through Sept. 4
        5. September 1 – Lackawanna County – Order Extending Through October 31
        6. October 21 – Lackawanna County – Order Extending Through December 31
        7. The judicial emergency in the 45th Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Lackawanna County, is extended through December 31, 2020.
        8. Jury trials have resumed as of September 8, 2020 and shall be scheduled by the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas.
          1. Per the November 4 Order to Suspend or Modify State Rule 221, in all civil matters:
            1. The judge presiding over the jury selection process is to announce his or her intent to reduce or eliminate the number of peremptory challenges authorized by Rule of Civil Procedure 221 at the beginning of voir dire; such announcement shall specify the number of peremptory challenges the parties will be permitted to exercise with respect to that venire;
            2. The judge presiding over the jury selection process is to memorialize, via a written order, any reduction or elimination of the number of peremptory challenges; that written order shall be placed on the docket of that particular case; and
      • The reduction or elimination of the number of peremptory challenges shall be effectuated in a manner designed to achieve fairness between or among the parties. See Leaphart v. Whiting Corp., 564 A.2d 165, 169 (Pa.Super. 1989) (“[O]nly when the trial court's allocation of strikes failed to result in a fair distribution of challenges, will we find an abuse of discretion and, consequently, reversible error.”) (quotation omitted); cf. Pa.R.C.P. No. 221 (providing that peremptory challenges are to be exercised in alternating turns, so that “a fair distribution of challenges” is achieved).
      1. This order shall remain in effect no longer than the duration of the judicial emergency in the 45th Judicial District. Interested parties may object to this Court’s order no later than noon on November 12, 2020. Objections shall be filed at the above docket number and served on the District Court Administrator of the Forty-Fifth Judicial District
      1. Court calendars may be modified by the individual judges or the Court Administrator with appropriate notice to the parties who shall also have the authority to suspend or cancel jury or non-jury trials. All Civil matters shall be conducted in a manner at the sole discretion of the judge assigned to the case
      2. The use of advance communication technology is included to permit the conduct of Court proceedings. The continued use of advanced communication technologies for all court proceedings is highly encouraged.
      3. Effective September 8, 2020, all Civil and Discovery Motions which would typically be presented in Motion Court are to be electronically submitted via email to civilmotion@lackawannacounty.org in PDF format. Each submission shall state if the motion is stipulated to, consented, or opposed, where applicable. Pursuant to Lackawanna County Motion Practice, all notice requirements remain in effect, and each Motion shall include a certificate of service and list email addresses and phone number for all counsel or parties.  Once the Motion has been reviewed and signed by the Court, original Orders to existing dockets will be time stamped with the Clerk of Judicial Records' Office, with a time stamped copy returned to the presenter electronically or by mail. Any Motion which will originate a new docket will be available for pickup in the respective Court Administrator's Office.  Any emergency Motion and/or Orders that require Judicial review shall follow the same process, with Court Administration forwarding to the appropriate Motion Court Judge for their review.
      1. Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas (2nd Judicial District)
        1. https://www.court.co.lancaster.pa.us/
        2. October 19, 2020 Order – Judicial emergency extended through December 31, 2020.
          1. Civil jury trials scheduled through Dec. 2020 consisting of 12 jurors plus alternates are continued generally.
          2. Civil jury trials with less than 12 jurors plus alternates may be scheduled at the discretion of the presiding judge as facilities and resources permit.
          3. Nonjury trials may be scheduled with permission of President Judge.
          4. Date of order though 12/31/20 – All court business conducted subject to protocols and procedures that limit, as much as possible, all in person proceedings, and as reasonably modified by presiding judge.
          5. Proceedings requiring in person appearances may be scheduled at the discretion of presiding judge and in a manner consistent with CDC protocol.
      • Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas (31st Judicial District)
        1. https://www.lccpa.org/
        2. August 31, 2020 Order – Judicial Emergency through Nov. 30, 2020
          1. All matters and proceedings shall be scheduled and conducted in the normal course EXCEPT:
            1. All matters and proceedings that can be conducted by ACT (Zoom, telephone, video-conferencing, etc.) are encouraged to be conducted by ACT, notwithstanding any general order of court to the contrary but subject to constitutional limitations.
            2. All in-person proceedings shall be limited to no more than 50 persons in the Common Pleas and no more than 10 persons in the Magisterial District Courts.
      • Civil Division: In matters involving the nonpayment of monies, any notice requirements mandated by Act 6 and Act 91 delivered before August 31, 2020, will be deemed delivered on August 31, 2020, and any foreclosure actions requiring Act 6 and Act 91 compliance may proceed from that point forward in the normal course of action. Magisterial District Courts:
      1. Magisterial District Court:
        1. Payors shall be encouraged to make payments by mail, electronically or by telephone rather than in person.
        2. In matters involving the nonpayment of monies or the removal of any tenant solely because the tenant has held over or exceeded the term of the lease, all eviction timelines must be computed with a start date of August 31, 2020, at which point any previously delivered Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 and the Manufactured Home Community Rights Act notices will be deemed de-livered and any eviction proceedings may proceed from that point forward in the normal course of action.
      • In Landlord/Tenant actions involving "federally funded covered proper-ties" subject to the CARES Act, a landlord may issue a 30-day notice to quit (not a 10-day notice) on/after August 11, 2020, and a complaint may be filed on/after September 10, 2020.
      1. Landlord/Tenant actions for failure to pay rent or overstaying the expiration of a lease NOT involving "federally funded covered properties" shall proceed as follows: Until the expiration of the CARES Act, all landlord/tenant filings, initial complaints and requests for possession for failure to pay rent or for overstaying the terms of a lease shall include an affidavit signed by the landlord verifying the action does not involve a "federally funded covered property." An Affidavit of Compliance with the "CARES Act" shall be available on the Lehigh County website.
      2. The costs for reissuance of an order of possession necessitated by the Court's Emergency Order shall be charged to the County of Lehigh.
      1. Access to the Lehigh County Courthouse or any court facility shall be limited to employees of the UJS of PA or County of Lehigh; persons having business with the courts, departments or offices contained within such facilities; and persons observing court proceedings open to the general public consistent with the U.S. CDC and PA DOH recommendations, including the wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing. The Sheriff of Lehigh County shall assist in implementing this Order.
      1. November 19, 2020 Order
        1. Jury trials suspended through February 28, 2021, to a new date to be determined.
        2. License suspension hearings and mortgage foreclosure conciliation conferences continued through 12/31/20 to a new date to be determined.
        3. All other proceedings, including non-jury trials, arbitrations, motions, and petitions (including unassigned miscellaneous matters, injunctions, stays, petitions for change of name, structured settlements, etc.), arguments, status conferences, pre-trial conferences, and settlement conferences shall be conducted by ACT or when exception circumstances prevent proceedings to be conduct by ACT and with approval of the assigned judicial officer, in-person.
        4. All proceedings, including preliminary objections, motions for judgment on the pleadings, discovery and post-trial motions, in all civil cases in which a party is a healthcare professional, para-professional or institution directly providing screening, diagnosis, treatment or care for anyone suspected of having or having COVID-19 are STAYED through February 28, 2021; provided, however, the aforesaid stay may be lifted, in whole or in part, on a case-by-case basis upon application and a showing of prejudice more than mere delay.
        5. While the judicial emergency remains in effect, access to the Lehigh County Courthouse or any court facility shall be limited to employees of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania or the County of Lehigh; persons having business with the courts, departments or offices contained within such facilities; and persons observing court proceedings open to the general public consistent with the U.S. CDC and PA DOH recommendations, including the wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing.
        6. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, all employees, court users and visitors to any court facility, court proceeding or court-related function shall follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines then in effect, including wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.

       

      • Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas (11th Judicial District)
        1. https://www.luzernecounty.org/AlertCenter.aspx?CID=1
        2. April 2 - Luzerne County - Order Extending Through April 30
        3. May 29 – Luzerne County – Order RE Reopening
          1. July 22 – Luzerne County Operation Plan Effective July 23 through August 3
        4. November 19 - Luzerne County - Additional Protocols and Temporary Closures from Nov. 20 through Nov. 29
          1. ALL JURY TRIALS are postponed from November 30, 2020 through January 31, 2020.
            1. All judges shall review their individual calendars and whenever possible conduct necessary proceedings and/or conferences telephonically. Each Judge shall take the appropriate steps in scheduling to their individual calendar to comply with the provisions of this Order.
          2. Pending further Order of the Court, only civil proceedings which directly impact the health, safety, security, welfare, or incarceration of an individual shall be held as normally scheduled. All in-person proceedings shall be postponed to a later date and rescheduled by Order of the Court.
        5. General Guidelines
          1. ACT will be used at all times when possible and practical at the discretion of the Judge.
          2. All individuals entering any Court facility shall comply with CDC guidelines and/or directives of the Luzeme County Sheriff.
          3. All individuals entering any Court facility shall wear a face covering.
          4. No one other than the litigants, counsel and witnesses will be permitted to attend a hearing.
          5. Litigants, counsel and witnesses are to appear at the Courthouse ten minutes prior to their scheduled court proceeding.
          6. Attorneys and pro se litigants are encouraged to electronically file documents; however, if that is not possible, the Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts will only accept filings in the basement of the Courthouse located near the Sheriff’s Department. However, from July 23 through August 3, all filings must be submitted via electronic filing or by mail.
        6. All proceedings, including jury trials and arbitration hearings, through April 30, 2020 have been postponed to a later date, which will be determined by further Order of Court. Judges will review their individual calendars and whenever possible conduct necessary proceedings and/or conferences telephonically. 
      1. Monroe County Court of Common Pleas (43rd Judicial District)
        1. http://www.monroepacourts.us/CourtAdministration/Pages/COVID19Documents.aspx
        2. April 1 - Monroe County - Emergency Administrative Order (Extension of Judicial Emergency Until 4/30/20)
        3. April 22 - Monroe County - Order Extending Closures through May 31
        4. May 29 – Monroe County – Order Extending Judicial Emergency through September 7
        5. September 2 – Monroe County – Order Extending Judicial Emergency through January 4, 2021, Phase II Operations Transition
        6. The judicial emergency in the 43rd Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Monroe County, is extended through January 4, 2021.
        7. All Courts of the 43rd Judicial District, Monroe County, including Magisterial District Courts and the Court of Common Pleas, are generally open to the public, subject to the restrictions set forth in this Court's Transition Protocol, outlined below.
        8. All jury trials are suspended until September 2020 if they can be conducted, at that time, consistent with prevailing health and safety norms.
        9. Any statewide or local rule that restricts, directly or indirectly, the use of advanced communication technologies in court proceedings is suspended.
        10. Any statewide or local rules that impede court filings by means other than in person delivery are suspended.
        11. Transition Protocol:
          1. All persons entering any Court facility shall wear face coverings and shall comply with all requirements therein including, but not limited to, maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet at all times.
          2. Courthouse boxes and forms will remain at the front door and the Sheriffs staff will continue to act as the "gatekeeper" in accordance with the emergency orders and these procedures.
          3. Litigants will only be permitted in the facility 10 minutes or less prior to a scheduled proceeding and counsel shall speak with their clients outside of the court facility prior to the proceeding. Witnesses will remain outside of the court facility and will be called in as needed. Reasonable accommodations for the press and for public access to proceedings will be made upon request to Court Administration.
          4. ACT will continue to be used at all times when possible and practicable. In person appearances will continue to be limited to the matters currently being heard pursuant to the emergency orders or as ordered by the Presiding Judge.
          5. Unless otherwise directed by a specific Order of Court, documents/exhibits for use in all types of proceedings must be emailed to the presiding Judge/Master/Hearing Officer or Conciliator to an address provided by the Presiding Judge or Court Exhibits must be provided at the time of the proceedings in an electronic format with a copy to 'opposing counsel/party.
          6. CCP Judges will continue on a two-Judge rotation with staff and commencing May 8, 2020 all Judges may work in their chambers. Judges in rotation will increase as We reopen.
          7. Cases that have been rescheduled to June 2020 and beyond shall be scheduled to ensure that no more than 15 persons are in any given courtroom at any time unless social distancing within the courtroom and during ingress and egress can be maintained, in the discretion of the Presiding Judge. All court proceedings shall be staggered by time. While this will inevitably create longer hearing times and more "down time" in court, it remains necessary for the health of the public, counsel and employees.
          8. Trial terms are generally cancelled through August 2020.
          9. The Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts/Orphans Court will continue to receive filings via U.S. mail and email and process same, creating motions lists, and immediately scanning and docketing each filing to insure electronic means of review and scheduling.
          10. Court Administration will send all motions/pleadings to all Judges' chambers on a daily basis.
          11. Judicial Assistants will continue to create orders for electronic signature and filing by each Judge where possible.
          12. Court reporters/recorders will continue to provide orders for electronic signature and filing for each Judge.
          13. Court employees will not attend off-site conferences or trainings unless approved by the President Judge or her designee.
          14. Court events/meetings will be held using ACT where possible.
          15. Pleadings shall be filed through the U.S. Mail or electronically. The Monroe County Prothonotary is authorized to accept filings by email, with pleadings attached as PDF documents, one pleading per email. Pleadings shall be signed and shall comply with all local and state rules and sent to protcivilfiling@monroepa.gov. Filing fees shall be payable to the filing office and sent by first class mail within 7 days of filing to the filing office at 610 Monroe Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360.
          16. Court Administration will continue to process new pleadings, including new scheduling orders, pursuant to local rule.
          17. Motions lists will be provided to Court Administration by the Prothonotary's Office and distributed to Judges for processing.
          18. Bench trials may commence June 8, 2020 if social distancing can be maintained.
          19. Arbitrations may commence June 1, 2020 using ACT. All praecipes for arbitration must include a telephone number and email address for attorneys and pro se litigants, and Court Administration will assist the arbitrators in scheduling and using ACT.
            1. CONTACT INFORMATION
            2. All Other Civil (not previously specified above): Phone — (570) 517-3096
      1. Magisterial District Courts:
        1. The Magisterial District Courts within the 43rd Judicial District shall be open generally to conduct all court business effective June 1, 2020. ALL IN-PERSON ACCESS IS STRICTLY LIMITED until June 15, 2020.
        2. All payments for fines and costs shall be made by mail or online at ujsportal.pacourts.us. NO IN-PERSON PAYMENTS ARE PERMITTED absent extenuating circumstances.
        3. All MDJ office telephones remain forwarded to Court Administration until 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
        4. No hearings/proceedings in any case type shall be scheduled or rescheduled to a date prior to June 15, 2020, giving priority to rescheduling of criminal cases.
        5. At this time, all correspondence necessary for cases filed at the MDJ courts can be mailed using the US Mail or faxed to the individual court office at the applicable address / fax number as listed on the Monroe County Court's website (monroepacourts.us). Correspondence includes but is not limited to entries of appearance, pleas in summary cases, etc.
        6. All new civil case filings can be mailed using the US Mail to the specific MDJ court directly or filed in person commencing June 1, 2020 at the specific MDJ court.
        7. Individual MDJ Court contact information can be found at: monroepacourts.us.
      2. Non-emergent civil filings can be filed by first class mail. Also, through close of business on May 31, 2020, the Prothonotary is authorized to accept said filings by email, with pleadings attached as PDF documents, one pleading per email, for the purpose of preserving the date filed.  Pleadings shall be signed and comply with all local and state rules and sent to protcivilfiling@monroecountypa.gov.  Filing fees must be sent to by first class mail within seven (7) days of filing to the filing office at 610 Monroe Street, Stroudsburg, PA 
      3. There is no specific suspension of deadlines or time calculations in any of the Monroe County Emergency Court Orders – therefore, the extension of deadlines and time calculations is presumed to be through May 11, 2020, ONLY (per PA Supreme Court Order).
      1. Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas (38th Judicial District)
        1. https://www.montcopa.org/285/County-Courts
        2. March 31 - Montgomery County - Order Outlining Closures, Extensions, and Procedures
        3. April 14 - Montgomery County - Order Extending Closures and Extensions through May 31
        4. May 5 - Montgomery County - Order Rescinding Prior Orders, Opening on June 1
        5. May 26 - Montgomery County - Order Extending Judicial Emergency
        6. Phase I Reopening Statement – in effect beginning June 1
        7. Phase II Reopening Statement – in effect beginning July 20
        8. Phase III Reopening Statement – in effect beginning October 5
          1. Montgomery County Safety Protocol
          2. Montgomery County Virtual Hearing Protocol
        9. November 24 - Montgomery County Court - Emergency Judicial Order
        10. The Judicial Emergency in Montgomery County is extended until further order of the Court. This extension includes the provisions of this Court's Order dated May 5, 2020, and the protocols referenced therein and adopted by the Court, as may be further amended. 
        11. Per the May 5, 2020 Order: Montgomery County Courts of Common Pleas and Magisterial District Courts will be open to conduct business as of June 1, 2020.
          1. One Montgomery Plaza will remain closed until further notice, and any matters previously handled there (arbitrations) will be held in the Montgomery County Courthouse and/or will be conducted by means of advanced communication technology.
          2. Access to the Montgomery County Courthouse will be limited to the Main Street entrance.
        12. Common Pleas Court filing office will be open as of June 1, 2020 to conduct all court business, except in-person filing. Filings continue to be accepted by e-filing, mail, or at the drop-box at the court entrance.
        13. Local Civil Rule 4012 regarding place of taking depositions remains suspended.
        14. Per the November 24 - Montgomery County Court - Emergency Judicial Order:
          1. The Court temporarily EXEMPTS any civil cases commenced on or after January 1, 2019 from Local Rule of Civil Procedure *200 — Trial Readiness.
          2. All Case Management Orders previously issued pursuant to Local Rule 200, on any civil cases commenced on or after January 1, 2019, where the case has not yet been placed in the Arbitration Inventory or Civil Trial Inventory, are REVOKED.
          3. All Motions for Extraordinary Relief pending in civil cases commenced on or after January 1, 2019 are DENIED AS MOOT. Civil cases commenced prior to January 1, 2019 shall continue to be subject to Local Rule 200, if applicable, and any Case Management Orders issued thereunder shall remain in effect.
        15. Per the May 27 Order of the Montgomery County Court, all scheduling notices and subpoenas for all scheduled events (conferences, hearings, non jury trials, jury trials, etc.) issued by the Court prior to March 12, 2020, for any date after March 12, 2020 are cancelled.
        16. Per the May 20 Order of the Montgomery County Court, all deadlines issued in Case Management Orders (whether captioned as Case Management Order, Rule 212 Order, Discovery Management Order, Order granting extraordinary relief, or otherwise) falling on or after March 12, 2020 are extended by three (3) months from the original deadline date. All Motions for Extraordinary Relief filed on or before May 20 are denied without prejudice.
        17. The tolling of time requirements, time limitations, or filing deadlines imposed by court orders and Local Rules that address time requirements, time limitations, or filing deadlines will expire. Legal papers or pleadings which were required to be filed between March 12, 2020 and June 15, 2020 will be deemed timely filed if they are filed by close of business on June 15, 2020.  *Note that state rules addressing time calculations and deadlines are not indicated.  Therefore, any extension of time calculations/deadlines per the PA Rules of Civil Procedure is presumed to be through May 11, 2020, ONLY (per PA Supreme Court Order).
        18. Per the Phase I Reopening Statement – in effect beginning June 1

      for Civil Cases:

      1. Beginning June 1, 2020 and continuing until further notice, most Montgomery County Civil Division Proceedings that cannot be resolved on the paper/filings (Level I in the 38th Judicial District – Montgomery County Safety Plan) will be conducted remotely as Virtual Court Hearings. (Level II in the 38th Judicial District Safety Plan). All parties and counsel shall be familiar with and shall comply with the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Protocol for Virtual Court Hearings. Hearings will be conducted via advanced communication technology whenever possible. No proceedings shall be conducted in person at the Courthouse, except as required by law and consistent with public safety considerations.
      2. All Virtual Court Hearings shall be scheduled by Order issued by the Court and shall be conducted using the Zoom video meeting platform for video and audio. The Court shall provide notice of hearing date and time, including both the Court Order and the Zoom invitation, to all counsel of record and all self-represented parties by delivery to their email addresses. Counsel or self-represented parties shall be responsible for providing a copy of the Order, Protocol for Virtual Court Hearing and Zoom invitation to all witnesses and parties. All Virtual Court Hearings will be of record with a Court Reporter participating remotely. No other participant is permitted to make any other recording of the proceedings.  Parties, witnesses and counsel shall be expected to join the waiting room for the Virtual Court Hearing at least 15 minutes before the Virtual Court Hearing is scheduled to begin.
      3. EMERGENCY MISCELLANEOUS JUDGE: The following types of matters will be forwarded to the Emergency Miscellaneous Judge who shall make every effort to resolve and dispose of all matters on the paper/filings or by phone conference scheduled by Chambers. If a hearing is needed, it will be scheduled as a Virtual Hearing before the Equity/Emergency Hearing Judge.
        1. Mental Health Commitments
        2. Petitions for Name Change
      • Motions for Sanctions
      1. Rule Absolute Orders that need review from Rule Returnable list
      1. EQUITY/EMERGENCY HEARING JUDGE: The following types of matters will be forwarded to the Emergency/Equity Hearing Judge who will attempt to resolve the matter on the paper/filings or by phone conference, or if determined necessary, a Virtual Hearing to be scheduled by Court Administration.
        1. Petitions for In Forma Pauperis
        2. Equity/Emergency Filings
      • Hearings on matters that cannot be resolved by Emergency Miscellaneous Judge on the papers/filings or by phone conference
      1. MATTERS TO BE REVIEWED ON PAPER/WRITTEN FILINGS: The following types of matters will be considered by the Court based on the paper/written filings, and if applicable, the filed responses.
        1. Motions for Extraordinary Relief:
          1. For any matter with a Case Management Order or Rule 212 Conference Order issued prior to March 12, 2020 (meaning any Order that sets deadlines for the completion of discovery, the service of expert reports, the filing of dispositive motions/responses, and/or the filing of an arbitration or trial praecipt), a blanket order has been issued providing all deadlines falling on or after March 12, 2020, are extended for 3 months from the original deadline date.
          2. For any pending Motions for Extraordinary Relief (and other motions for the extension of any such deadlines) filed on or before May 20, 2020, a blanket order has been issued denying without prejudice these motions.
        2. Stipulations:
          1. Stipulations filed before and during the Judicial Emergency, and not resolved, will be handled by the Judge assigned to the matter for review.
          2. Stipulations filed after the Judicial Emergency will be handled by the Judge assigned to the matter for review.
      • Preliminary Objections:
        1. For Preliminary Objections that had legal papers or pleadings required to be filed between March 12, 2020 and June 15, 2020, all filings will be timely if filed by close of business on June 15, 2020. After June 15, 2020, Court Administration will process and forward electronically all Preliminary Objections in this posture, and not resolved during the Judicial Emergency, to the Judge determined by the Court.
        2. All Preliminary Objections filed on or after June 1, 2020 will be processed and calendared to allow for response. Once ripe, Court Administration will process and forward electronically all these Preliminary Objections to the Judge determined by the Court.
      1. Motions for Summary Judgment/Judgment on the Pleadings (Dispositive Motions) (not related to Mortgage Foreclosure Actions):
        1. For dispositive motions forwarded to Assigned Judge before the Judicial Emergency, and not processed, the Assigned Judge shall process.
        2. For dispositive motions that had legal papers or pleadings required to be filed between March 12, 2020 and June 15, 2020, all filings will be timely if filed by close of business on June 15, 2020. After June 15, 2020, Court Administration will process and forward electronically all dispositive motions in this posture, and not resolved during the Judicial Emergency, to the Judge determined by the Court.
        3. All dispositive motions filed on or after June 1, 2020 will be processed and calendared to allow response. Once ripe, Court Administration will process and forward electronically all dispositive motions to the Judge determined by the Court.
      2. Non-Dispositive Non-Discovery Motions:
        1. For all matters forwarded to Assigned Judge before the Judicial Emergency, the Assigned Judge shall process.
        2. For matters that had legal papers or pleadings required to be filed between March 12, 2020 and June 15, 2020, all filings will be timely if filed by close of business on June 15, 2020. After June 15, 2020, Court Administration will forward all Rule Absolute Orders to the Emergency Miscellaneous Judge, and all disputed Motions with responses to the Assigned Judge.
        3. For matters that were filed during the Judicial Emergency time period or thereafter, all will be scheduled for a Rule Returnable date in due course. Once ripe, Court Administration will forward all Rule Absolute Orders to the Emergency Miscellaneous Judge, and all disputed Motions with responses to the Assigned Judge.
      3. Disputed Discovery Related Motions:
        1. For matters that had legal papers or pleadings required to be filed between March 12, 2020 and June 15, 2020, all filings will be timely if filed by close of business on June 15, 2020. After June 15, 2020, Court Administration will process and forward electronically all unresolved disputed discovery related matters to the Discovery Master. The Discovery Masters shall handle the Discovery Argument in a methodology they deem appropriate.
        2. For matters that were filed during the Judicial Emergency time period or thereafter, all will be scheduled for a Rule Returnable date in due course. Once ripe, Court Administration will process and forward electronically all unresolved disputed discovery related matters to the Discovery Master. The Discovery Masters shall handle the Discovery Argument in a methodology they deem appropriate.
      4. Phase II Reopening Protocol Beginning July 20, 2020:
        1. The Phase II Operations Plan will involve more hearings being held within Montgomery County Courthouse and other court facilities. The Court will continue to enforce the safety protocol put into place at the onset of Phase I Operations. This protocol involves the mandatory wearing of masks and social distancing within court facilities. It also involves the implementation and installation of safety equipment.
        2. Per the Civil Case Management Conference Temporary Protocol issued on July 20: In order to address the vast number of cases awaiting case management conferences, the Court will issue case managements Orders automatically without holding individual case management conferences. The Orders will set deadlines extending for approximately 90 days (rather than the usual 60 days) for ‘Within Arbitration Limits’ cases and 180 days (rather than the usual 120 days) for ‘Beyond Arbitration Limits’ cases. These orders will be issued on a staggered basis to preclude deadlines from all occurring at the same time, depending on when the case was ripe for a Civil Case Management Conference:
          1. For Civil Case Management Conferences that would otherwise need to be rescheduled during the Judicial Emergency, and for matters added to the Civil Case Management Scheduling Inventory during March through June, a standard order will be issued on each case.
          2. For Civil Case Management cases added to the Civil Case Management Scheduling Inventory after June, and until further notice when Civil Case Management Conferences resume, the orders will be updated to reflect 90 days and 180 days deadlines from the month that the order is issued.
      • To simplify and streamline the process, the Orders will be prepared by Court Administration and signed with the Court Administrator’s signature stamp.
      1. Per the July 20 Magisterial District Court Reopening Protocol, for all civil matters:
        1. All hearings are to be scheduled for non-criminal days. All Landlord/Tenant hearings will be scheduled first due to the statutory time constraints.
        2. Continuances should be liberally granted up to the permissible 30 days under the guiding rules.
      • All civil hearings should be conducted via Scopia whenever possible.
      1. All parties will be directed to email or fax any exhibits prior to the hearing date.
      2. Court will encourage a phone conference before the scheduling of a hearing in a civil case to narrow the issues and/or accept stipulations from the parties.
      3. Beginning on July 20, 2020. As of that date all such courts, except courts in consolidated facilities, will be open every day during regular business hours. The courts may continue to limit the days and or times periods that they are open to the public. MDJ Courts will continue to utilize advanced communication technologies when possible. All safety protocol previously imposed under the Phase I Operations Plan will remain in place.
      1. Per the Phase III Reopening Statement – in effect beginning October 5

      for Civil Cases:

      1. The Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County will begin implementation of Phase III operations on October 5, 2020. Phase III will involve the continuation of most of the current programs, while putting into place new programs especially in the civil and criminal divisions.
      2. Jury Trials: Phase III does not involve the resumption of jury trials. The Court awaits the report of the committee established to develop a plan for conducting jury trials.
      3. Bench Trials: Phase III will bring about the initiation of bench trials in the Civil Division.
      4. Bench Trial Protocol (effective October 5): This protocol has been developed to force the parties to come together to discuss alternative resolution strategies and settlement and to facilitate the final resolution of cases where jury trials are not required or have been waived. The Court is aware that certain types of cases are more amenable to this type of approach. Accordingly, cases of those types will be called first.
        1. Identification of Cases: Court Administration would be charged with identifying an initial pool of 100 cases from the pretrial inventory consisting of cases where a jury demand has not been perfected. The Court will also accept other cases where a jury trial was initially demanded but all counsel now agree to a bench trial. Counsel in such cases should notify Court Administration.
        2. Notice of Pretrial Conference: Notices will be sent to counsel and unrepresented parties from those cases identified pursuant to the above paragraph setting forth the following:
          1. date and time of conference
          2. name of presiding judge
          3. link, password and other information to facilitate connection to the conference via Zoom
          4. Order to appear
          5. Order to produce a pretrial memorandum with the required information, as set forth below
          6. Email address to which the pretrial memo shall be forwarded.
      • Pretrial Memorandum: Parties in all cases shall file a pretrial memorandum which shall contain the information required by Pa.R.C.P. 212.2 (a)(7) and M.C.R.C.P 212.2(a)(7) and which shall also be delivered 7 days prior to the scheduled date of the conference to the email address indicated in the Order.
      1. Conference/Triage: Parties will appear at the conference via Zoom. Counsel and parties shall attend. In the case of corporate or other business entity, an authorized representative with settlement authority must attend. Parties shall come prepared to discuss settlement of the case, the opportunity to try the case by bench trial, the possibility of arbitration, the length of trial, the availability of witnesses and taking of trial depositions. In the event a settlement is reached or there is an agreement to arbitrate, an Order will be entered. The President Judge shall designate one or more Judges for triage. Prior to the first scheduled conference, the President Judge shall designate two or more Judges before whom Bench Trials would be conducted.
      2. Trials: Bench trials will be conducted in the Courthouse subject to all the safety protocols currently in place. This includes the wearing of masks by all participants at all times and appropriate social distancing. Counsel will be encouraged to present witnesses via Zoom or by way of previously undertaken trial depositions. Trials will not be continued following scheduling, except upon the finding of exigent circumstances. A request for continuance shall be directed to the Triage Judge.

       

      1. Northampton County Court of Common Pleas (3rd Judicial District)
        1. https://www.nccpa.org/COVID-19
        2. Effective June 1, 2020, the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas will be open to the public.
        3. June 8 Order – Judicial Emergency: June 1 through Sept. 30, 2020
        4. Once a case is assigned, the assigned judge may conduct the trial, hearing or conference either in-person or via two-way simultaneous audio-visual communication. Jury trials may only be conducted in-person.
        5. Settlement masters may conduct conferences either in-person or by telephone, or via two-way simultaneous audio-visual communication.
        6. Hearings pursuant to the Mental Health Procedures Act, 50 P.S. § 7101, may be conducted either in-person or by telephone, or via two-way simultaneous audio-visual communication.
        7. In lieu of a civil non-jury call, attorneys and parties shall send an email to the Office of Court Administration (jgreene@nccpa.org) stating whether the matter is ready for trial and the approximate length of such trial. If email not received by deadline, the matter will be stricken from the trial list:
          1. In lieu of Call of June 19, 2020, send email by June 15
          2. In lieu of a call on August 5, 2020, email by August 3, 2020.
          3. In lieu of a call on September 2, 2020, email by August 31, 2020.
          4. In lieu of a call of the list for miscellaneous hearings for June 12, June 19, July 2, July 10, July 17, July 31, August 7, August 21, August 28, September 2, September 16, September 23, and September 30, 2020, the President Judge will pre-assign the cases to judges. At the scheduled time of the hearing, attorneys and parties shall report directly to the assigned judge's courtroom.
        8. Masks and Social Distancing required. Do not present to the Court if you have been directed to quarantine, have symptoms, or in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID.
        9. Civil jury trials previously scheduled for April 13, 2020 are continued to August 24, 2020
        10. Civil jury trials previously scheduled for May 11, 2020 are continued to September 21, 2020
        11. August 28, 2020 Order – Judicial Emergency October 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020
          1. With the exception of criminal and civil jury trials, once a case is assigned to a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for disposition, the assigned judge may conduct the trial, hearing or conference either in-person or via two-way simultaneous audio-visual communication by using Polycom video conferencing or Skype for Business video conferencing. Jury trials may only be conducted in-person.
          2. Settlement masters, custody masters, divorce masters, and domestic relations conference officers may conduct conferences either in-person or by telephone, or via two-way simultaneous audio-visual communication by using Polycom video conferencing, Skype for Business video conferencing, or Zoom.
          3. Hearings pursuant to the Mental Health Procedures Act, 50 P.S. § 7101, may be conducted either in-person or by telephone, or via two-way simultaneous audio-visual communication by using Polycom video conferencing, or Skype for Business video conferencing, or Zoom.
          4. In lieu of a civil non-jury call on October 7, 2020, attorneys and par-ties shall send an email to the Office of Court Administration (jgreene@nccpa.org) by October 2, 2020, stating whether the matter is ready for trial and the approximate length of such trial. If the required email is not received by October 2, 2020, the matter will be stricken from the trial list.
          5. In lieu of a civil non-jury call on December 2, 2020, attorneys and parties shall send an email to the Office of Court Administration (jgreene@nccpa.org) by November 27, 2020, stating whether the matter is ready for trial and the approximate length of such trial. If the required email is not received by November 27, 2020, the matter will be stricken from the trial list.
          6. In lieu of a call of the list for miscellaneous hearings for October 7, 2020, October 21, 2020, October 28, 2020, November 4, 2020, November 10, 2020, November 18, 2020, November 25, 2020, December 2, 2020, December 16, 2020 and December 23, 2020, the President Judge will pre-assign the cases to judges. At the scheduled time of the hearing, attorneys and parties shall report directly to the as-signed judge's courtroom
          7. Masks required. CDC and DOH guidelines must be followed.
      • Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (1st Judicial District)
        1. https://www.courts.phila.gov/covid-19/
        2. April 1 - Philadelphia County - Order (Continuation of Judicial Emergency until 5/1/20)
        3. April 8 - Philadelphia County - Order RE Civil Litigation
        4. April 14 - Philadelphia County - Notice to Bar Postponing Civil Trials and Arbitrations Scheduled Through May 29
        5. April 14 - Philadelphia County - Notice to Bar Postponing Court Events Scheduled Through May 1
        6. April 22 - Philadelphia County - Order Extending Closures through May 29
        7. May 21 – Philadelphia County – Order RE Resumption of Court Proceedings and Updated Protocols
        8. July 28 – Philadelphia County – Order RE Civil Trials
        9. November 25 – Philadelphia County – Order RE Civil Jury Trials in 2021
        10. TRIALS, HEARINGS, CONFERENCES, & MOTIONS
          1. The Court is planning for the resumption of in-person jury trials for matters in the Arbitration Appeal, Major Jury, Mass Tort and Commerce programs. Subject to public health guidance, the Court plans to resume in-person trials starting as of January 21, 2021.
          2. All pre-trial conferences will be conducted via remote technology. Counsel shall review the published protocols in preparation for pre-trial conferences, including the Policies and Protocols for Use of Advanced Communication Technology for Court Proceedings in Civil Matters in the July 16 Notice to the Phila. Civil Bar.
          3. Detailed protocols will be published regarding the operation of court business – including the conduct of in-person jury selection and jury trials – without creating unreasonable risks to the health or safety of jurors, court personnel, attorneys, court users, and the general public. Such protocols will be published as Notices to the Bar and available on the First Judicial District’s website at http://www.courts.phila.gov/covid-19/ and at @PhilaCourts on Twitter.
        11. Protocol for Arbitration Appeal and Non-Jury Matters Listed for Trial But Postponed During the COVID-19 Judicial Emergency – per the August 27 Notice to the Phila. Bar, the Court will be requesting a Status Letter from parties for Arbitration Appeal and Non-Jury matters, previously listed for trial but postponed as a result of the COVID-19 judicial emergency. The Request for Status Letter will be sent to all counsel of record and unrepresented parties by electronic means or through the United States Postal Service, regular mail. All Counsel and self-represented parties shall file their Status Letter no later than five (5) days after receipt of the notice. The Status Letter must be electronically filed under the “existing case” section of the Electronic Filing System under the conference submission category. Failure to timely file the Status Letter may result in the imposition of monetary sanctions.
        12. Protocol for Civil Non-Jury Trials During the COVID-19 Judicial Emergency –
          1. Per the September 24 Notice to the Phila. Bar, subsequent to October 5, 2020, the Court will be scheduling non-jury trials for matters in the Arbitration Appeal, Major Non-Jury and Equity programs, including those matters scheduled for trial in October 2020, as well as those matters which were previously scheduled for trial in March, April, May and June 2020, but were postponed as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) judicial emergency. A list of the matters to be scheduled for trial is attached to the Notice. These non-jury trials will be conducted by way of remote technology. Counsel shall review the published protocols in preparation for trial, including the Policies and Protocols for Use of Advanced Communication Technology for Court Proceedings in Civil Matters issued on July 16, 2020 (see link below). All parties must immediately notify the Court in writing of any matters that have settled and file an Order to Settle, Discontinue and End. All parties must immediately notify the Court of any scheduling conflicts, including trial attachments and prepaid vacations. Conflict letters must be electronically filed under the “existing case” section of the Electronic Filing System under the conference submission category. Any requests for continuance must be immediately submitted in writing and made under exigent circumstances. Counsel will be served with a Scheduling Order, attaching counsel for trial for a date-certain. Matters which were scheduled for trial in July and August 2020 will be rescheduled for trial at a later date. Any questions about this notice may be addressed to the Complex Litigation Center, 622 City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107; telephone (215) 686-5100; fax (215) 686-5137.
          2. Per the October 19 Notice to the Phila. Bar, subsequent to November 2, 2020, the Court will be scheduling non-jury trials for matters in the Arbitration Appeal and Major Non-Jury programs, including those matters previously listed in the July and November 2020 Trial Pools, as well as those matters previously scheduled for trials earlier in 2020, but were postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) judicial emergency. A list of the matters to be scheduled for trial is attached to the Notice. These non-jury trials will be conducted via remote technology. Counsel shall review the published protocols in preparation for trial, including the Policies and Protocols for Use of Advanced Communication Technology for Court Proceedings in Civil Matters issued on July 16, 2020 (see link below). If your trial is on the attached list, all parties must immediately notify the Court in writing of any matters that have settled and file an Order to Settle, Discontinue and End. All parties must immediately notify the Court of any scheduling conflicts, including trial attachments and prepaid vacations. Conflict letters must be electronically filed under the “existing case” section of the Electronic Filing System under the conference submission category. Any requests for continuance must be immediately submitted in writing and made only under exigent circumstances. Counsel and self-represented parties will be served with a Scheduling Order, attaching counsel/parties for trial for a date-certain. Any questions about this notice may be addressed to the Complex Litigation Center, 622 City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107; telephone (215) 686- 5100; fax (215) 686-5137.
          3. Per the October 19 Notice to the Phila. Bar, subsequent to December 7, 2020, the Court will be scheduling non-jury trials for matters in the Arbitration Appeal and Major Non-Jury programs, including those matters scheduled for trial in the August and December 2020 Trial Pools, as well as select matters which were previously scheduled for trial earlier in 2020, but were postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) judicial emergency. A list of the matters to be scheduled for trial is attached to the Notice. These non-jury trials will be conducted via remote technology. Counsel shall review the published protocols in preparation for trial, including the Policies and Protocols for Use of Advanced Communication Technology for Court Proceedings in Civil Matters issued on July 16, 2020 (see link below). If your trial is on the attached list, all parties must immediately notify the Court in writing of any matters that have settled and file an Order to Settle, Discontinue and End. All parties must immediately notify the Court of any scheduling conflicts, including trial attachments and prepaid vacations. Conflict letters must be electronically filed under the “existing case” section of the Electronic Filing System under the conference submission category. Any requests for continuance must be immediately submitted in writing and made only under exigent circumstances. Counsel and self-represented parties will be served with a Scheduling Order, attaching counsel/parties for trial for a date-certain. Any questions about this notice may be addressed to the Complex Litigation Center, 622 City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107; telephone (215) 686- 5100; fax (215) 686-5137.
        13. Protocol for Compulsory Arbitration Program – Per the September 16 Notice to the Phila. Bar, Compulsory Arbitration Hearings will resume utilizing Zoom video conferencing services for all participants. Counsel and Litigants are reminded of the Notice of Policies and Protocols for use of Advanced Communication Technology for Court Proceedings in Civil Matters issued in the July 16 Notice to the Phila. Civil Bar. The following protocol will continue until further notice:
          1. All matters currently scheduled for an Arbitration Hearing in September of 2020 will either be continued to a date in 2021, if there is no Service of Original Process, or scheduled for a settlement conference with an Arbitration Judge Pro Tempore (AJPT). This is a continuation of the AJPT program implemented for the June, July and August Arbitration matters. The conferences will be conducted pursuant to the May 11 Notice to the Phila. Bar and June 11 Notice to the Phila. Bar.
          2. All matters currently scheduled for an Arbitration Hearing in October 2020, as well as the remainder of 2020, will be placed in a “pool program” similar to what has been the practice with matters on Appeal from Arbitration. Cases currently listed for Arbitration for the remainder of 2020, beginning with October, will be considered “ready to try” and are subject to a relisting for a virtual hearing during the month of their current hearing date.
            1. Any party who has a case listed for Arbitration after September 30, 2020 is strongly encouraged to confer with opposing counsel or self-represented litigants to determine the case’s readiness to proceed to Arbitration. If the matter is not ready to proceed to Arbitration, a Continuance/Deferral Application shall be filed by agreement of the parties as soon as possible.
            2. A new Notice of Arbitration will be sent to all counsel and self-represented litigants for those cases selected for a “pool” hearing date. Thereafter, a Scheduling Order will be issued for all cases listed for a remote hearing; the Order will include details on participating remotely.
      • The Notice will be sent 25 days prior to the hearing date. Notice will be generated by the FJD’s electronic filing system. Accordingly, those participants with email addresses in Banner will receive notice electronically. Otherwise, Notice will be sent by mail.
      1. Zoom Arbitration Hearings will be scheduled and hosted by the Arbitration Center. The matter will be conducted by a panel of three arbitrators and the chair of the panel will be a co-host of the proceedings. The arbitrators will participate by Zoom.
        1. If a party or self-represented litigant does not have the ability to appear remotely and to continue the matter until in-person proceedings can resume would severely prejudice a party, an exception to appearing remotely may be granted provided the party or self-represented litigant is willing to appear at the Arbitration Center in person and follow all CDC and Philadelphia Health Department guidelines, including the wearing of a face covering over the mouth and nose while at the Arbitration Center. The party will be connected to the hearing remotely from a workstation at the Arbitration Center. Such a request should be directed to the Director of the Arbitration Center, Maureen Eagen, Esquire at maureen.eagen@courts.phila.gov, and all other counsel or self-represented litigants are to be copied on the email.
      2. The admissibility of documents will continue to be governed by Pa. R.C.P No 1305(b) and Philadelphia County Local Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 1305(b)(1), commonly referred to as “The 20 Day Rule.”
      3. It is strongly encouraged that the parties’ Arbitration packets be limited to fifteen (15) pages. The packets shall be emailed to the Arbitration Center no later than five (5) days prior to the hearing. All documents submitted in advance of the Zoom hearing are subject to the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence and Rules of Civil Procedure. The packets will be emailed to the Arbitrators by the Arbitration Center.
      4. When contacting the Arbitration Center, please do so at ArbitrationFJD@courts.phila.gov. Please include the Case name and Court Term and Number in the subject line. The email should copy all counsel and self-represented litigants and include current phone numbers for all counsel and self-represented litigants.
      5. In addition to conducting Zoom Arbitration Hearings, the Arbitration Center will also continue the AJPT program beyond September. For a case listed for Arbitration after October 1st and the remainder of 2020, a request for an assignment to an AJPT for a settlement conference in lieu of an Arbitration Hearing should be directed to the Director of the Arbitration Center at eagen@courts.phila.gov as soon as possible. The email shall copy all counsel and self-represented litigants to advise the Arbitration Center that a joint request for a settlement conference with a volunteer AJPT is being made. Thereafter, the case will be assigned to an AJPT for the scheduling of the settlement conference. The conferences will be conducted pursuant to the May 11 Notice to the Phila. Bar and June 11 Notice to the Phila. Bar.
        1. Upon appointment of the case, the Arbitration Center will provide the phone numbers of the attorneys and any self-represented litigants to the AJPT, who will then expeditiously contact all parties, notifying them that the AJPT is hosting the virtual settlement conference. Accommodations will be made for those attorneys or parties who can only participate telephonically. Times for the conferences will be set in consultation with the AJPT’s and parties’ schedules. Settlement Conference Memoranda must be sent electronically to the AJPT and counsel of record or self-represented litigant at least five (5) days prior to the settlement conference date. The settlement conference memoranda do not need to be filed with the Court. The Settlement Conference Memorandum should not exceed five (5) double-spaced pages and should include the following information:
          1. Facts Giving Rise to the Action
          2. Theory of Liability
          3. Causal Connection to Injury
          4. Description of Injury, including summary of medical testimony
          5. Itemization of Special Damages
          6. Current Demand/Offer
        2. The Settlement Conference Memorandum shall be served on all other parties and shall include a Certificate of Service. Please be reminded that the AJPTs work directly under the supervision of the Judicial Team Leaders and Arbitration Center, to whom the results of each conference are reported. Should the parties appear unprepared or fail to negotiate in good faith at the settlement conference, the AJPT may issue a Rule to Show Cause before the Judicial Team Leader, who will address the failure to appropriately participate in the virtual settlement conference.
      6. A case assigned to an AJPT that cannot be settled will receive a new Arbitration hearing date consistent with the Court’s calendar.
      1. Protocol for Settlement Conferences - Per the April 30 Notice to the Phila. Bar, all civil matters previously listed for a Settlement Conference but postponed as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) judicial emergency, will be relisted for a Settlement Conference before a Judge Pro Tempore who has the ability and necessary technology to conduct audio and video conferences remotely utilizing Zoom or similar virtual conferencing software. Upon appointment, the Judge Pro Tempore will expeditiously contact all counsel of record, schedule, coordinate and host the virtual Settlement Conference.  Settlement Conference Memoranda must be electronically filed with the court and electronically delivered to the Judge Pro Tempore and counsel of record at least five (5) days prior to the date of the virtual conference.  Should counsel appear unprepared or fail to negotiate in good faith at the settlement conference, the JPT may issue a Rule to Show Cause before the Judicial Team Leader who will address the failure to appropriately participate in the virtual settlement conference.  Per the September 11 Notice to the Phila. Bar, Judge Pro Tempore settlement conferences in the Major Jury, Arbitration Appeal and Non-Jury cases will be listed for a settlement conference before a Judge Pro Tempore in accordance with the same procedure.
      2. Protocol for Case Management Conferences - Per the August 11 Notice to the Phila. Bar, the waiver of civil case management conferences in any civil case is extended until further notice. Notice of the scheduled date of issuance of the Case Management Order will be sent to all counsel of record and unrepresented parties by electronic means or through the United States Postal Service, regular mail. All Counsel shall file their case management memoranda no later than five (5) days prior to the scheduled issuance date. Failure to do so may result in the imposition of monetary sanctions. In lieu of the case management conference, the Civil Case Managers will review the electronic court record, civil docket and case management memoranda and, based upon the presumptive case management track (which is determined by the court type, case type, number of parties and nature and complexity of the case) shall issue a Case Management Order assigning the case to either the Expedited, Standard or Complex case management track. The resulting Case Management Order will be docketed and issued to all counsel of record and unrepresented parties by electronic means or through the United States Postal Service, regular mail.
      3. Protocol for Discovery Motions - September 11 Notice to the Phila. Bar, which extends the May 5 Notice to the Phila. Bar establishing a Protocol for Discovery Motions: In order to facilitate the prompt resolution and docketing of discovery disputes that are filed after September 7, 2020, all parties follow this Protocol until further Notice to the Bar. *NOTE – see the November 4 Notice to the Phila. Bar below for the procedure for contested discovery motions. * For all discovery motions that have been filed after September 7, 2020, the movant shall within 20 days of the date of this Notice, file through the E- filing system an appropriate Praecipe for the Court’s review as contained in this Protocol.  The Praecipe must be filed in the EXISTING CASE section of the EFS under the filing category labeled CERTIFICATION REGARDING DISCOVERY MOTION.  In addition:
        1. Motions will be designated as either:
          1. (A) Withdrawn: The JPT-D will email the Office of the Discovery Court Program that the discovery motion has been withdrawn, with a copy of the email sent to the counsel or unrepresented parties. The movant shall file a praecipe to withdraw the motion via the Motions section of the E-filing System with reference to the assigned control number.
          2. (B) Entered by Agreement: The Movant shall file a Praecipe to Enter Discovery Order by Agreement in the Existing Case section of the E-filing System via the filing category labeled Certification Regarding Discovery Motion in accordance with Protocol and Forms for discovery motions published in the Notice to the Bar re: DISCOVERY MOTIONS DURING JUDICIAL EMERGENCY CREATED BY COVID-19 on May 5, 2020 and any amendment thereto. The docket will be updated to reflect the status as entered by agreement. The Praecipe shall reference the assigned control number.
      • (C) Unresolved: The contested discovery motion was not resolved at the Discovery Resolution Conference. The motion shall be referred to the Court for adjudication. The JPT-D shall make a recommendation to the Court as to whether oral argument is necessary. Oral argument shall be at the Court’s discretion.
      1. (D) Contested: All discovery motions for which a Praecipe for Contested Discovery Motion, and response thereto, have been filed with the Court will be referred to the Judge Pro Tempore Discovery Program pursuant to this Protocol.
        1. Per the November 4 Notice to the Phila. Bar, In order to facilitate the prompt resolution of contested discovery motions, the Court hereby Orders that parties follow this Protocol for Contested Discovery Motions until further Notice to the Bar. This Protocol applies to any civil matter currently pending or to be filed in which a party has filed a Praecipe for Contested Discovery Motion in accordance with the June 2 Notice to the Phila. Bar RE: Protocol for Contested Discovery Motions, and any extensions or amendments thereto. The court hereby orders the following protocol:
        2. (1) All discovery motions for which a Praecipe for Contested Discovery Motion and response thereto have been filed with the Court will be assigned to a Judicial Team Leader for adjudication.
        3. (2) Oral Argument on Contested Discovery Motions will be at the Court’s discretion.
        4. (3) If oral argument is necessary, the court will utilize telephonic means or advanced communication technology (i.e., Zoom, etc.). The date, time and manner of the hearing will be communicated and confirmed to all counsel and unpresented parties.
        5. (4) Questions regarding this protocol should be directed to Mr. Peter J. Divon, Manager of the Discovery Court Program by e-mail to Divon@courts.phila.gov
      2. Movants who have complied with this protocol for the filing of contested motions, but subsequently determine, prior to the hearing date, that the motion will either be agreed upon or be uncontested, shall file the appropriate praecipe with the Office of Judicial Records and immediately advise the Court via email to divon@courts.phila.gov. The Movant must copy all parties of record with this email and attach the appropriate, revised praecipe designating the motion as uncontested or by agreement whichever is appropriate.
      3. Be advised: All praecipe and certifications described above shall be made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904 regarding unsworn falsifications to authorities.
      4. Be advised: Any movant who does not comply with this Protocol may have their motion dismissed without prejudice. If a respondent does not comply with this protocol the motion may be granted as uncontested. Within 20 days from the date of such dismissal without prejudice, any party shall have the right to refile any motion which has been dismissed without prejudice as a result of failing to comply with this protocol.
      1. Policies and Protocols for use of Advanced Communication Technology for Court Proceedings in Civil Matters - Per the July 16 Notice to the Phila. Civil Bar:
        1. Trial Division – Civil will use Zoom video conferencing services (“Zoom”) as the designated Advanced Communication Technology for certain proceedings in civil matters.
        2. All participants – counsel, clients and witnesses – shall familiarize themselves with Zoom in advance of the proceeding. When signing into Zoom, each participant shall use only their first and last name as their screen name along with an appropriate designation such as “plaintiff’s counsel, plaintiff or witness. For example, a proper screen name is “Jane Doe – plaintiff’s counsel.” The screen name cannot be an email address or nickname. All participants must confirm that their computer audio is enabled and that their Internet connection is working properly and with sufficient signal strength. Where possible, participants should use a desktop computer rather than a mobile device. When using a mobile device, ensure that device is sufficiently charged and/or plugged into a power source.
        3. Counsel shall make every effort to ensure that the witness/party can use Zoom and can view exhibits via Zoom. The camera should be positioned such that the person’s entire face and shoulders are visible.
        4. During testimony by a party or witness, no one is permitted to communicate – via text or chat application or any other means – with the testifying witness except by way of on the record oral questions directed toward that witness.
        5. If counsel is muted and has an objection or requests permission to address the Court, counsel should physically raise their hands so that the Court may recognize counsel. If during the course of the proceeding it becomes necessary for counsel to consult with a client in private, counsel may raise their hand to request to be sent to a breakout room for a short time to have a private conversation.
        6. If a participant’s video freezes and that participant is unable to restart video, the participant shall dial-in to the Zoom proceeding and use audio only.
        7. Counsel and parties must treat the proceeding as if it were in open court so appropriate dress and decorum are required. Counsel and parties must silence all other electronic devices. No participant may use a virtual background without Court permission.
        8. Participants are reminded that everyone must appear on camera during the entire hearing, whether or not they are speaking, unless the Court directs otherwise. Participants must limit or eliminate possible background distractions.
        9. All participants must be able to review exhibits while also participating in a Zoom proceeding.
        10. Rule of Judicial Administration No. 1910 provides that it “is unlawful and a criminal offense to use or operate a device to capture, record, transmit or broadcast a photograph, video, motion picture or audio of a proceeding or person within a judicial facility or in an area adjacent to or immediately surrounding a judicial facility without the approval of the court or presiding judicial officer or except as provided by rules of court.” The Zoom proceeding takes place in a virtual courtroom and constitutes a judicial facility. As such, any broadcasting, transmitting, video recording, audio recording, photographing, taking screenshots and/or otherwise saving or reproducing of the proceeding is strictly prohibited and is subject to penalties including contempt of court
      2. FILING DEADLINES & PROTOCOLS
      3. The electronic filing system is open for the filing and docketing of all legal papers. Filing of legal papers in person at filing offices is suspended for the protection of court staff and court users until further order of the court.
      4. Protocol for Petitions for Minor’s Compromise - Per the May 21 Notice to the Phila. Bar, the assignment of petitions for minor’s compromise, incapacitated person’s compromise and settlement and distribution of wrongful death/survival actions, to an individual Orphans’ Court Judge for review and determination, after the 20-day response period, has resumed in both the Civil Trial Division and the Orphans’ Court Division. Counsel are further advised that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services, has altered its procedures for review of petitions.  Therefore, for all petitions seeking a net distribution to a party of $1,000.00 or more, a CURRENT STATEMENT OF FINAL LIEN AMOUNT from DHS (together with all other required statements from the claimants/lienholders) must be attached to the petition. Failure to attach the statement of final lien amount shall result in the petition being deferred or denied by the Judge to whom it is assigned.  Counsel may request the STATEMENT OF FINAL LIEN AMOUNT by contacting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services, through the web portal https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Other-Services/Pages/TPL-Web-Portal.aspx, or by facsimile (717-772-6553), or by regular mail directed to: Department of Human Services P.O. Box 8486, Harrisburg, PA 17105.
      5. OTHER PROTOCOLS
      6. To the extent practicable parties shall engage in discovery consistent with governing scheduling orders. This includes all forms of discovery practice including depositions. No party shall use the current health crisis for advantage in the discovery process.
      7. To the extent practicable, depositions should be conducted remotely through telephone, videoconference, or similar technology. Court reporters need not be present in the same location as witnesses and/or counsel, consistent with Governor Wolf’s Order dated March 21, 2020.
      8. Depositions of and required appearances for doctors, nurses, or other healthcare professionals who are substantially involved in responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency are suspended.
      9. Alternative methods of signing, delivery and service of court orders shall be permitted if authorized by each individual judge. This includes, but is not limited to, electronic signatures captured by image technology, facsimile signatures, proxy signatures and designated court employees authorized to sign on behalf of a judge after the judge has reviewed and approved the document for signature.
      10. Philadelphia Municipal Court
        1. Nov 13 Notice of Right to Appear in Person, Via Zoom, or Telephonically
          1. You may appear at the hearing Via Zoom, Telephonically or In Person. If you wish to attend Via Zoom or Telephonically, please notify the court of your desire to do so by calling the court at 215-686-2910 no later than five days before the hearing. Untimely requests maybe accommodated based upon both timeliness of the request and the requester’s ability to submit exhibits for docketing prior the hearing. See the rest of the Notice for Zoom and Telephone attendance procedures.
        2. Per the July 13 Administrative Order RE: Phila. Municipal Court - Civil Division:
        3. The Court will hear in-person small claims court matters, limiting the number of cases scheduled each day.
        4. Cases scheduled or rescheduled may be heard, as appropriate, utilizing Advanced Communication Technology as provided by protocols that may be issued from time to time.
        5. As to Philadelphia Municipal Court cases only, writs of execution and attachment seeking the enforcement of money judgments, including but not limited to garnishment of bank accounts, may be issued and served on or after July 13, 2020
        6. A judgment of the Philadelphia Municipal Court may be appealed to the Court of Common Pleas as provided in Philadelphia Rule of Civil Procedure *1001. To appeal to the Court of Common Pleas parties may email the Office of Judicial Records at OJR_Civil@courts.phila.gov or call (215) 686-4251 to ask about how to file an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas. Office of Judicial Records staff can assist the Appellant with using the Electronic Filing System so that the appealing party may file from home or Office of Judicial Records staff can make an appointment for the appealing party to file in person at the Civil Filing Center in City Hall during normal business hours.
      • Pike County Court of Common Pleas (60th Judicial District)
        1. http://court.pikepa.org/news.html
        2. April 2 - Pike County - Administrative Order
        3. April 29 - Pike County - Order Extending through June 1
        4. Any civil hearing scheduled through April 30, 2020 is continued, and will be rescheduled by further Order of Court.
        5. As of April 29, 2020, the Court of Common Pleas is available and open for essential and non-essential proceedings; however, the court continues to urge the use of advanced communication technology to conduct proceedings.
        6. The Pike County Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts’ Office is open for filing from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each business day as of May 1, 2020, and parties shall file any legal documents only through the Pike County Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts’ Office.
        7. As of May 4, 2020, any time calculations and deadlines imposed by statute, rules of procedure, or order of the court shall be calculated in conformance with the statute, rule, or order. However, any legal papers or pleadings which were required to be filed between March 19, 2020 and May 8, 2020 generally shall be deemed to have been filed timely if filed by the close of business on May 11, 2020.
        8. The Court of Common Pleas’ May 2020 Trial Term and May 8, 2020 Jury Selection are cancelled.
        9. There is no specific suspension of deadlines or time calculations in any of the Pike County Emergency Court Orders – therefore, the extension of deadlines and time calculations is presumed to be through May 11, 2020, ONLY (per PA Supreme Court Order).

      U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

      1. http://www.pacourts.us/ujs-coronavirus-information
      2. April 10 - EDPA - Supplemental Order Extending Through May 31
      3. May 29 – EDPA – Second Extension of Adjustments to Court Operations
      4. June 30 – EDPA – Third Extension of Adjustments to Court Operations
      5. July 31 – EDPA – Fourth Extension of Adjustments to Court Operations
      6. August 31 – EDPA – Fifth Extension of Adjustments to Court Operations
      7. October 30 – EDPA – Sixth Extension of Adjustments to Court Operations
      8. November 25 – EDPA – Seventh Extension of Adjustments to Court Operations
        1. NOTE: See EDPA Reopening Guidelines Issued October 1st
        2. NOTE: See EDPA Reinstitution of Jury Trials Guidelines Issued October 1st
      9. Since the October 30, 2020, Standing Order was issued, conditions with regard to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in this district have materially worsened. Upon consideration of the current circumstances with respect to the COVID-19 outbreak in this district, the Court finds it is necessary and appropriate to temporarily reduce the level of on-site activity at courthouses and Court locations in this district and to postpone certain in-person proceedings, particularly those that require large numbers of people to gather for extended periods of time, in order to protect public health and safety, including the safety of Court personnel and all persons entering courthouses and Court locations in this district. It is therefore ORDERED as follows:
        1. All civil jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin on or before January 15, 2021, before any district or magistrate judge in any courthouse or Court location in this district are CONTINUED pending further Court order.
        2. All jury selections and jury trials impacted by this Standing Order will be rescheduled by the presiding judge.
      • Essential in-person proceedings may continue to be held in designated courtrooms in accordance with the current scheduling protocol, at the discretion of the presiding judge. Judges are encouraged to hold in-person proceedings only when absolutely necessary and to use video and telephone conferencing as much as possible.
      1. Except as modified herein or by other Standing Orders issued since May 29, 2020, the May 29, 2020, Standing Order remains in effect.
      1. Per the October 5 Standing Order and Notice RE: Arbitration Trials to Resume and Proceed by Videoconference regarding Arbitration Hearings:
        1. Parties in cases previously scheduled for arbitration trial dates that were continued due to the exigent circumstances created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will begin being notified by the Clerk’s Office that they have the option of consenting to proceed with an arbitration trial by videoconference. Cases that were previously scheduled for arbitration trials in March and April 2020 will be notified first, followed by cases that were previously scheduled for arbitration trials in May 2020, and so on. At the appropriate time, parties will receive a Notice of Electronic Filing for a docket entry that will include a letter with instructions along with a copy of a Consent/Declination of Consent form. Parties that do not have access to CM/ECF will be notified by mail. Parties should not file a Consent/Declination of Consent form until after they have received that notification from the Clerk’s Office. To learn more, please visit www.paed.uscourts.gov/services/arbitration
        2. The requirement set forth in Local Civil Rule 53.2, subsection 5A, stating that an arbitration trial shall take place in the United States Courthouse, is suspended in order to allow arbitration trials to be conducted remotely by videoconference. Arbitration trials which would otherwise be continued for an unknown duration due to the reduced number of available courtrooms, which must be reserved for specific categories of trials and other hearings, may now proceed by videoconference and parties may obtain resolution in their cases.
      • Suspension of subsection 5A is only for the purpose of allowing arbitration trials to be conducted remotely by videoconference. Arbitration trials may not be physically held in any alternative locations. As would be the case if the arbitration trials were held in the United States Courthouse, no person who has not been hired by a party to perform transcription services may record the video or audio of the arbitration trial, and failure to comply with this prohibition may result in the imposition of sanctions.
      1. Parties must either consent or decline to have the arbitration trial conducted remotely by videoconference by completing and electronically filing a Consent/Declination of Consent form that will be docketed in each case awaiting an arbitration trial. Arbitration trials for parties who consent to proceed by videoconference will be scheduled upon receipt of the completed form on a rolling basis. Parties who do not consent to the arbitration trial being conducted remotely by videoconference remain subject to the continuance of arbitration hearings set forth in the Court’s June 30, 2020 Standing Order.
      2. The requirement set forth in Local Rule 53.2, subsection 4D, that the arbitration clerk provide the arbitrators with a copy of all pleadings, the court order referring the case to arbitration and designating the arbitrators, and guidelines for the arbitrators at the time the court order is entered, is suspended. Instead, no later than the next business day following the entry of the court’s order setting forth the date of the arbitration trial and the names of the arbitrators assigned to the arbitration panel, the parties must send the arbitration clerk an email with a copy of the docket sheet and all relevant pleadings, in the form in which they appear on CM/ECF, as attachments. The arbitration clerk will then forward the documents to the arbitrators by email, along with a copy of the court’s order, the Guidelines for Participating in Arbitration Trials Conducted by Videoconference, and the Standing Procedural Order for Arbitration Trials Conducted by Videoconference.
      3. The requirement set forth in Local Rule 53.2, subsection 6, that the arbitration award be filed with the court, is suspended and the arbitration chair should instead email the arbitration award to paed_arbitration@paed.uscourts.gov to facilitate entry of the award onto the docket.
      1. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania will remain open for business, but access to EDPA courthouses and other EDPA Court locations will be limited to judges, Court personnel, and persons attending court proceedings or having other official business with the Court.
      2. Attorneys seeking admission to practice in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania pursuant to Local Civil Rule 83.5(a) may be admitted upon completion and submission of the application and fee, subject to review by the Court. Attorneys seeking admission pursuant to Local Civil Rule 83.5(f) will be notified of a hearing date at an appropriate time.
      3. Access to courthouses and other Court locations in this district is limited to judges, Court personnel, and persons attending court proceedings or having other official business with the Court.
      4. The Court’s Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system is not affected by the closure, and all registered users of the CM/ECF system are required to electronically file any case-related documents that can be filed electronically through the CM/ECF system, including Notices of Removal, Amended Complaints and Third-Party Complaints. The restrictions set forth in Local Civil Rule 5.1.2, subsection 2(b), stating that initial papers in civil cases cannot be electronically filed by counsel are suspended.
      5. Any document that cannot be electronically filed should be emailed in PDF format to the following address: paed_documents@paed.uscourts.gov, indicating the case number and the title of the document or pleading in the subject line. 
      6. Procedural rules concerning the form and content of filings are still in effect.
      7. Electronic filers should not submit a paper courtesy copy of any document that has been either electronically filed or emailed to an EDPA Clerk’s Office email address for filing. Courtesy copies should not be submitted to judicial chambers or to the Clerk’s Office. This temporary restriction will continue until further notice from the Court.
      8. For Paper Filings:
        1. The Clerk’s Office in the Edward N. Cahn U.S. Courthouse in Allentown will be closed until further notice. No paper filings will be accepted at the Cahn Courthouse. Paper filings can be mailed to the Philadelphia Clerk’s Office where they will be processed on a limited schedule as described below.
        2. The Clerk’s Office in the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia will remain open and operational, but public access to the Clerk’s Office will be restricted.
      • Paper filings are strongly discouraged at this time. When necessary, paper filings, including sealed filings, should be left in the drop box in the lobby of the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia. Sealed filings should be clearly marked as such. All payments should also be left in the drop box in the lobby of the Byrne Courthouse. Payments must be by check payable to “Clerk, USDC.” No cash will be accepted.
      1. Due to current circumstances there may be delays in processing paper filings received through the drop box.
      2. Clerk’s Office staff will be working mostly remotely but will be retrieving voicemail and responding to messages. When leaving a voicemail message, please supply an email address when possible. Mail and other deliveries will be received and processed on a limited schedule. However, paper filings and payments will not be accepted in person in the Clerk’s Office until further notice. For a directory of Clerk’s Office employees, please see: EDPA Court Directory
      1. Filers with an emergency matter should inform the Clerk’s Office by emailing PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV and by calling one of these numbers: (215) 597-0374 or toll-free at (800) 525-5726 or (877) 437-7411.
        1. In the email, filers should (1) indicate in the subject line the type of pleading and nature of relief sought; (2) include all relevant telephone and email contact information; and (3) attach a PDF version of the filing to the email.
        2. Filers who send their pleading via email should NOT place a paper copy of the filing in the drop box unless their individual circumstances require the time stamp. If you believe you need to use the time stamp and the drop box please note in your email that a paper copy of the filing was placed in the drop box. Filers who are unable to provide their pleading as a PDF via email should use the time stamp and the drop box. If it is an emergency matter, notify the Clerk’s Office by calling one of the phone numbers listed above.
      2. To obtain certified copies of documents that are available on PACER.gov, send an email request to PAED_clerksoffice@paed.uscourts.gov. Payment by check or money order is required. Certified copies will be provided via email.

      U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

      1. https://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/
      2. April 8 - Middle District of PA - Order Extending through May 31, 2020 : IN RE: General Continuance of Hearings and Proceedings Due to Public Health Concerns. The findings and directives of General Order 20-01, dated March 13, 2020, as supplemented on March 18, 2020 (see 20-01 (Supp.)), are hereby extended through May 31, 2020.
      3. Standing Order 2020-16 - May 26, 2020 – General Order 20-01, as supplemented (see 20-01 (Supp.)) and extended (see General Order 20-10)), is hereby extended through June 30, 2020.
      4. COVID-19 Recovery Guidelines For Middle District of PA
      5. March 13, 2020 General Order No. 20-01:
        1. All hearings and proceedings in all civil matters within 60 days of this order that would involve the physical presence of counsel or any party or individual before the Court are continued.
          1. Exceptions, in relevant part, include the following: proceeding is conducted by video or audio teleconference with approval of the Court; or exigent circumstances.
        2. Standing Order No. 20-14:
          1. Members of the Court, visitors to the court (public, attorneys, litigants…) are required to wear a mask or face covering when in the common or public areas of the courthouse.
          2. Any person seeking entry without a mask shall be delayed by Court Security Officers, who will inquire as to the office the person is visiting and purpose. Court Security or visitor shall then contact the office to determine whether the business needs can be handles other than by entry into building.
        3. June 17, 2020 General Order 20-17
          1. Issues and adopts detailed COVID-19 Recovery Guidelines which provide guidance and policy effective during various reopening phases to be instituted by the Court. Brief Summary below, see Order for complete guidelines.
          2. 3 Phases
            1. Phase 1 – June 1, 2020
            2. Phase 2 – July 1, 2020 (see below)
              1. Courts moving to Phase Two should have no evidence of a COVID-19 resurgence within their local communities and satisfy the Judiciary Gating Criteria a second time. In Phase Two, the Court will increase our in-court proceedings to include hearings with more than a handful of participants, in-person settlement conferences, mediations, and face-to-face meetings. Criminal and civil bench and jury trials will not be permitted in Phase Two.
              2. Before exiting Phase Two and proceeding to Phase Three, the Court will evaluate the Judiciary Gating Criteria to ensure our readiness to progress to the next phase; to ascertain the need to maintain the current phase; or to determine the need to implement a lower phase based on resurgence of infections in our local areas.
              3. Main Components:
            3. Phase 3 –
              1. Courts moving to Phase Three should have no evidence of a COVID-19 resurgence within their local communities and satisfy the Judiciary Gating Criteria a third time.
              2. Main Components:
              3. Before exiting Phase Three and proceeding to Phase Four, we will evaluate the Judiciary Gating Criteria to ensure our readiness to progress to the next phase; to ascertain the need to maintain the current phase; or to determine the need to implement a lower phase based on resurgence of infections in our local areas.
            4. Phase 4 –
              1. Courts should move to Phase Four only after a Public Health Announcement that COVID-19 has been suppressed within the United States. In Phase Four, we will resume all court operations and staffing without restrictions.
            5. These protocols have been updated on July 9, 2020 to generally require that all court employees and personnel wear face coverings or masks in any indoor location and maintain six-foot social distancing. Masks may be removed temporarily during in-court proceedings, at the discretion of the judicial officer, when removal is necessary to effectively conduct the proceedings provided six-foot social distancing can be maintained.
      • Standing Order 2020-19 – June 24, 2020
        1. Use of video and telephone conferences authorized for various pretrial events if COVID-19 materially affects functioning of federal courts, generally.
      1. Standing Order 2020-020 - July 1, 2020
        1. Middle District of PA entered Phase 2 on July 1, 2020
        2. All judges, court staff, attorneys and participants in mediations and settlement conferences conducted in Middle District of Pennsylvania court facilities during Phase Two of the Middle District’s plan for full recovery to court operations shall adhere to masking and social distancing protocols contained in said Guidelines;
        3. In-person attendance requirements for mediations (M.D. Pa Local Rule 16.8.7) and Settlement Conferences (M.D. Pa Local Rule 16.9.4) are waived during Phase Two of the court’s Covid-19 reopening process;
        4. During Phase Two of the court’s Covid-19 reopening process, requests to participate in mediations and settlement conferences telephonically or by other electronic means shall be granted liberally by the judge or mediator assigned to conduct the proceeding.
      2. Standing Order 2020-21 – July 28, 2020
        1. Effective this date, all civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials in the Middle District of Pennsylvania scheduled to begin before August 17, 2020, are continued pending further Order of Court. The Court may issue further Orders concerning future general continuances of any matters as may be deemed necessary and appropriate. All jury selections and trials affected by this Order will be reset by further Order of the assigned judicial officer.
        2. The time-period of July 28, 2020 through August 17, 2020 shall be “excluded time” under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A), as the Court finds that the ends of justice served by taking such action materially outweigh the best interests of the public and the parties in a speedy trial. Specifically, such exclusion is necessary to assure that in cases going to trial, there is a full, unhindered, continuously serving jury venire and seated jury in every case, which is central to the sound administration of justice.
      3. Standing Order 2020-22 – August 6, 2020
        1. Effective August 17, 2020, jury trials scheduled in the Middle District of Pennsylvania may resume, provided:
          1. criminal jury trials are prioritized;
          2. only one trial at a time will be conducted at each vicinage; and
          3. proceedings are conducted as closely as practicable in accord with the guidance set forth in the Plan for the Reinstitution of Jury Proceedings, as well as this Court’s COVID-19 Recovery Guidelines, as adopted by Standing Order 20-17, entered on June 17, 2020 and as amended on July 9, 2020.
        2. Non-jury proceedings, such as bench trials and hearings, may proceed as scheduled at the discretion of the presiding judge. In civil cases, the parties are encouraged to utilize video conferencing when available.
        3. All judicial officers are encouraged to carefully consider the limited resources of the United States Marshals Service and defer to that office’s reasonable requests when scheduling matters.
        4. In civil cases, deadlines set by the presiding judge remain in effect, but the presiding judge will liberally grant motions to enlarge deadlines based on COVID-19 pandemic complications. All parties are encouraged to conduct discovery that avoids both unnecessary travel and personal contact via means including the use of all available technology, such as video and teleconferencing.
      • Standing Order 2020-23 – September 23, 2020
        1. Standing Order 2020-19 extended for 90 days from the date of this Order (9/23/20) re: use of video teleconferencing and telephonic conferences
      • Standing Order2020-25 – October 6, 2020
        1. Indefinitely extends existing orders that all individuals entering courthouses and working within courthouses must wear a face mask
        2. Obey social distancing, and all health and hygiene signage in the Courthouse.
      1. Standing Order 2020-29 – Nov. 19, 2020
        1. All civil case jury selections and civil case jury trials in the Middle District of Pennsylvania scheduled to begin before January 11, 2021, are continued pending further Order of the Court.
      1. Rhode Island (as of 12/14/20)
      • Rhode Island State Courts
        • The Courthouses in Rhode Island are open.
        • Civil jury trials have resumed on a limited bases. Cases are only being scheduled with the written authorization of the Presiding Justice.
        • Civil bench trials have resumed on a limited basis.
        • The majority of non-essential matters, including most motion hearings and conferences,are being conducted remotely.  Matters which cannot be conducted remotely are being scheduled for in-person hearings at the discretion of the presiding judge. 
        • Statute of limitations are not tolled as complaints and pleadings can be filed electronically.
        • Clerk’s offices remain open and e-filing is encouraged.
        • These measures will remain in place through December 18, 2020.
      • S. District Court District of Rhode Island
        • The Courthouses are currently closed to the public. The situation will be reassessed continuously to determine when a re-opening can be done in a safe and effective manner.  
        • The Court remains fully operational electronically and is still accepting filings.
        • Until the Courthouses re-open most functions, including conferences and hearings, will proceed telephonically or via Zoom.
        • All depositions in civil cases are to be conducted by remote video until further order of the Court.
        • Civil jury trials are to be conducted via zoom.
        • The current order will remain in effect until March 9, 2021.
      1. Virginia (as of 12/10/20)
      • Virginia State Courts
        • Virginia Supreme Court Guidance
          • http://www.vacourts.gov/news/items/covid/2020_1203_scv_order_fourteenth_extending_declaration_of_judicial_emergency.pdfCourts should continue to prioritize emergency matters and the parties are encouraged to utilize video conferencing, telephonic appearances, etc., to conduct matters. However, starting on May 18, 2020, all courts may hear in-person non-emergency matters if they determine it is safe to do so.
          • All case related deadlines, excluding discovery deadlines, shall continue to be tolled until January 3, 2021.
          • In all civil cases, any tolling of deadlines and obligations arising out of Part Four of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, shall terminate as of May 18, 2020.
          • All discovery issued with a deadline to respond during the judicial emergency shall be due within 21 days of May 18, 2020.
          • All filing deadlines, time schedules, or statute of limitations that would otherwise run will be tolled during the duration of this order (currently until January 3, 2021);
          • Courtroom attendance limited to parties, attorneys, and necessary witnesses;
          • A face covering is required in all courthouses.
          • The issue with the clerk’s offices is not as clear. The Supreme Court requires e-filing, where available, but many jurisdictions in Virginia do not have an e-filing systems.  Most, if not all, Virginia clerk’s offices continue to operate with a limited staff, but inquiry should be made to the individual court to determine if they are still accepting filings. Also, note the courts that have moved to a drop-box system.

       

      • Fairfax County Circuit Court:
        • This Court has adopted the Supreme Court’s Order December 3, 2020 order.
        • The Court has also issued the following guidelines for the resumption of jury trials:

      https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/circuit/sites/circuit/files/assets/documents/pdf/fairfax-circuit-court-rev-jury-plan-9-15-2020.pdf

      https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/circuit/sites/circuit/files/assets/documents/pdf/ffx-cir-ct-msg-litigants-re-jury-trials-9-17-2020.pdf

       

      https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/generaldistrict/remote-hearing

      • If a matter was continued, parties should contact the clerk’s office to find out when the matter can be rescheduled. Also, the state’s Online Case Information System will display any matters that have already been rescheduled by the Court.

       

       

      https://arlingtonva.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2020/10/Approved-Jury-Resumption-Plan-10-21-20-.pdf

       

       

      • The Court also issued the following Order to address the phased reopening: https://arlingtonva.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2020/06/Circuit-Court-First-Interim-Plan-to-Resume-Trials-and-Hearings.pdf
        • All bench trials scheduled to commence prior to September 3, 2020 will proceed as scheduled, with the expectation that the Court may schedule video hearings.
        • All matters on the docket through September 3, 2020 for status will remain on the docket, but parties should expect the Court to arrange for teleconference appearance.
        • The regular Friday Motions Docket has resumed. In addition to all other local rules, a copy of the filing should be emailed to copy@arlingtonva.us. The Court will determine whether a videoconference is appropriate for the motion.
      • E-filing. All parties are encouraged to use the e-filing system in place by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Otherwise, parties are encouraged to mail in any filings.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      • Prince William County General District Court:
        • https://www.pwcgov.org/government/courts/district/Pages/default.aspx
        • The Court has adopted and is subject to the Supreme Court’s December 3, 2020 Order.
        • The General District Court will resume operations beginning on June 8, 2020.
        • Parties are instructed to contact the clerk’s office to reschedule any matters that were continued.
        • Prince William does not have e-filing and it does not appear they have provided any special instruction regarding filing pleadings or other papers.

       

       

       

      • S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
        • http://www.vawd.uscourts.gov/media/31973374/second-amended-standing-order-2020-10-and-2020-14.pdf
        • Civil jury trials may resume on March 1, 2021. However, the Court will continue to use all available means (electronic) to conduct civil hearings and bench trials.
        • All in person civil proceedings scheduled on or before June 10, 2020 are continued and will be rescheduled;
        • All civil jury trials scheduled on or before March 1, 2021 are continued and will be rescheduled and all issues regarding pre-trial deadlines will be addressed by the presiding judge;
        • Despite the continuance of in-person court proceedings, judges may continue to conduct proceedings by telephone and video conference where practicable and authorized by law.
        • Face coverings are required for all persons in the courthouse.
        • Drop boxes are located at each U.S. Courthouse for any party that does not have e-filing capability. Otherwise, e-filing is strongly preferred.
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